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Belgium’s only ‘British’ roundabout to disappear

In six months, the "British" roundabout in Schilde will no longer be. Credit: Google Street View

The direction of traffic on the Cirkellaan in the municipality of Schilde in the Antwerp province will change, doing away with the only “British” roundabout in Belgium.

The roundabout on the Cirkellaan in is the only one in Belgium, and according to Gazet van Antwerpen, even the only one in Europe, where drivers have to turn left and drive clockwise, like in the UK.

In six months, the “British” roundabout in Schilde will no longer be. “Our decision has nothing to do with the Brexit, but with sewerage works,” said mayor Dirk Bauwens on Radio 2 Antwerp on Wednesday morning.

“For the sake of clarity, it is not a classic roundabout,” said Bauwens. “The Cirkellaan is a large ring road with even a few houses in the middle plot,” he added.

The traffic situation is a relic from the past, according to the mayor. “These used to be forest paths that were paved over time. The regulations did not always allow us to turn the Cirkellaan into a real roundabout. By reversing the direction of travel in a clockwise direction, we avoided that every side road would have right of way from the right,” he added.

The mayor, who is a member of the rightwing N-VA party, strongly denied that there are political motives. “Would I rather turn right than left? That really has nothing to do with it,” he joked.

Maïthé Chini
The Brussels Times