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The most confusing roads in the UK

Take a look at some of the hardest roads to drive on in the UK, including the famous Magic Roundabout

a grey kia sorento driving on a country road in the UK

Where are the most confusing roads in the UK?

Whether you recently passed your test or have been on the road for years, most of us have our weak spots when it comes to getting behind the wheel.

Even the most experienced of drivers will struggle on some UK roads, mostly thanks to confusing junctions and intense roundabouts.

Statistically, the most confusing cities in the UK to drive in are London and Birmingham, which makes sense as the UK’s two most populated cities.

While traffic and congestion are a pain to drive in, there are some UK roads that feel impossible to navigate.

Take a look at some of the trickiest spots in the UK to drive – are you brave enough?

Hanger Lane Gyratory, West London

Also known as ‘Malfunction Junction’, the infamous Hanger Lane Gyratory System can be found in West London and is a known menace to motorists.

Sam Sheehan, our motoring editor here at cinch, explained: “The Hanger Lane Gyratory is a grade-separated junction where the A40 crosses the A460 North Circular Road, carrying traffic to Alperton, Wembley, and Harrow.

“What confuses most drivers in the capital is the layout of the gyratory itself.

"It’s square and has between four and eight lanes of traffic, passing through a set of traffic lights at each of its four main entrance points.

“As if the sheer number of lanes isn’t puzzling enough, there are few signs to guide you into the right place, and drivers must work out the correct lane allocations from markings on the road.

“And to add to the complexity, Hanger Lane tube station is situated in the centre of the gyratory.

"It’s fair to say that it’s not a stretch of road for the faint-hearted!”

The Magic Roundabout, Swindon

A road sign for the Magic Roundabout in Swindon

Definitely not as fun as it sounds, The Magic Roundabout can be found close to Swindon Town’s football ground and is one of the most complicated rotaries in the UK.

It’s made up of five tiny roundabouts going in an anticlockwise direction, all arranged around a sixth outer circle with vehicles travelling clockwise.

It’s definitely enough to make you dizzy!

The mini roundabouts weren’t permanently marked out when it was first built in 1972, so police officers were stationed at each mini rotary to keep an eye on how drivers coped.

Although it was originally known as ‘The County Islands Ring Junction’, it was renamed in honour of the popular children’s TV show.

Gravelly Hill Interchange (known as Spaghetti Junction), Birmingham

Birdseye view of Spaghetti Junction in Birmingham

If you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to come across Spaghetti Junction on your travels through Birmingham, you’ll know why it received its name.

Situated where the M6 motorway meets the A38(M) Aston Expressway in Gravelly Hill, this large junction very closely resembles a big plate of tangled spaghetti.

One reason for this is that engineers have had to elevate a section of the motorway to accommodate two rivers, three canals and two railway lines.

It’s a challenging stretch of road to travel, having been designed to increase road capacity, minimise congestion and improve traffic flow.

The best thing you can do is keep an eye on the signs while travelling through to keep you in the right direction.

Sheriffhall Roundabout, Edinburgh

If you’re driving in Scotland, watch out for the infamous Sheriffhall Roundabout – labelled as one of the most dangerous roundabouts in Scotland.

It was the scene of 15 accidents from 2017 to 2021, and roadworks to ease traffic and reduce issues on the roundabout won’t be completed until 2027.

In the meantime, drivers say they struggle to navigate which lane to be in.

Three busy streets meet here, so motorists driving along the City of Edinburgh Bypass can spend lots of time stuck in traffic as they approach the Sheriffhall point.

Douglas Oval Roundabout, Isle of Man

Located on the Douglas Promenade, the Douglas Oval Roundabout is made up of three rings at the meeting of three roads. The interesting design makes it tricky to get your head around.

It was heavily criticised when it opened in 2021, with residents labelling it a ‘hideous eyesore’ and a ‘joke’.

While locals seem to have got to grips with it now, visitors might struggle as there isn’t much time to anticipate your next moves.

It’s situated in a trafficked zone of the island and can be hard to understand the mechanisms or figure out which lanes and exit you need.

While the Isle of Man is a gorgeous area for a road trip, make sure you’re prepared before heading onto the Douglas Oval – you don’t want to look like a silly tourist...

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