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Alice H
Alice H, Solicitor/Partner
Category: UK Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 2847
Experience:  Partner in national law firm.
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UK Traffic Question I approach a roundabout (roundabout under

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UK Traffic Question
I approach a roundabout (roundabout under a motorway) in the left hand lane. In the last 50m there is a sign indicating that the left hand lane should be used to enter onto the motorway, first exit. I however wish to take the second exit of the roundabout which is just after you pass under the motorway. I am unable to change to the right hand approach lane as the lane notice has not given me enough time to safely make the manoeuvre given the traffic. As I approach the junction I can see that beyond the standard give way dotted line there is another dotted line (as for the middle of the road) which filters the outside lane of the roundabout up the ramp to the motorway. In order to proceed to the second junction of the roundabout I have to cross this dotted line. There is no traffic coming and I consider it safe to cross the line and take up position in the left-hand lane of the roundabout in preparation for leaving the roundabout at the next junction.
Is this ok/legal or must I enter onto the motorway because the black and white sign indicated that the left approach lane was to be used for traffic wishing to enter onto the motorway?
Thank you for your assistance.
My name isXXXXX and I am a Solicitor based in London. I'm happy to help with your question today.

Was there an accident?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes. I had entered the roundabout travelling slowly as my car was heavily laden. I was under the flyover when a lorry moved from the inside lane (right lane) and hit the rear driver side of my vehicle. I was not aware of the lorry until it impacted with my car. He is denying it saying that I was under taking and should not have entered the roundabout from the lane I did.

Two points: I was not undertaking as I had not even seen the lorry until I looked in my side mirror to see what had hit me. The impact happened when we were under the flyover. I was there for already on the roundabout in the correct lane and the other driver could not have known what lane I entered the roundabout from. His comment when we were exchanging details was “where did you come from”. I believe that due to the sun position that bright day he did not see me as he entered the shade of the flyover.

Thank you for your assistance.


A black direction arrow on a white background is a lane information sign. This is for guidance and of the upcoming lane priorities.

A white arrow on a blue background is a sign showing that a positive step needs to be taken e.g. keep left or turn left.

Therefore, having entered the incorrect lane with a black direction arrow you can move to the correct lane so long as its safe to do so. It is not a mandatory requirement to keep left and join the motorway slip road.

Regarding the accident it sounds like its very much your word against the lorry driver. If he was proceeding correctly and you moved into his lane to avoid joining the motorway and caused the accident then you are likely to be held liable. Conversely if he moved into your lane then he would be liable.

If there is a dispute about liability and there is no independent evidence in support of either of you the case will probably be settled on a 50/50 basis.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for that, just one last thing. The impact location is to the rear driver side of my vehicle; which to me would indicate that I was in front of his vehicle and it would therefore be his responsibility not to pull onto a car as he changes lanes. I can see that if he chooses not to tell the truth, it could be argued that I just drove into the front left of his vehicle. I did try to contact the police as soon as the accident happened only to be informed that it was just an exchange of details situation. Would that fact have any bearing in a court hearing? If my claim was for £2000 for repair and loss of earnings would a 50/50 decision mean I would get £1000 (assuming I could show that these costs were correct)

Thank you again for your assistance.


I can see your point and agree that you might be able to demonstrate that the location of the damage on your vehicle is indicative of the other drivers fault. But, again, this really is one person's word against the other.

If the insurers settle this on a 50/50 basis then there will be a shortfall on any claim that you make. This will either be covered by your insurer, if you have fully comprehensive insurance, or you may have to make up the difference from your own pocket.

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