Magic Roundabout (Colchester)

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Coordinates: 51°53′4″N 0°55′57.5″E / 51.88444°N 0.932639°E / 51.88444; 0.932639

Map of the Greenstead roundabout

The Greenstead roundabout is a magic roundabout in Colchester, Essex.[1]

It is a large ring junction composed of five mini roundabouts, with two lanes in each direction joining each to its neighbour. It is known for its complexity, and the resulting confusion it causes for some motorists. The nickname "magic roundabout" comes from the television programme, The Magic Roundabout, which was popular in the 1970s, when this novel layout was devised.[2][3]

It is located between the Hythe and Greenstead areas of the town, with the A133 (St Andrew's Avenue); Avon Way; Greenstead Road and the A134 (Elmstead Road).

The Colchester roundabout lacks the intermediate traffic islands found on the similar roundabout in Swindon, but nonetheless it is possible to traverse around the large inner roundabout in clockwise or an anti/counter-clockwise direction as desired.

The creation of the roundabout stirred much controversy among the local community, as large amounts of the nearby Greenstead cemetery were destroyed to make way for the project. This fact has been largely forgotten as since then many houses have been built between the roundabout and the cemetery, diminishing the size and use of the cemetery significantly. Nonetheless, this fact alone has made the area nearby the roundabout notoriously hard for the council to populate, with the majority of housing now being let to students.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Phillips, Andrew (2004). Colchester: a history. Chichester, West Sussex, England: Phillimore. p. 119. ISBN 1860773044. 
  2. ^ Magic roundabouts, RoadsUK 
  3. ^ Sawers, C. P.; Blackmore , F. C. (1973), Capacity Measurements on Experimental Roundabouts Design at Colchester 610, Transport and Road Research Laboratory 

External links[edit]