Is cycling priority on roundabouts a good idea?

Timely blog on cycle priority on roundabouts – the pros and cons. Important discussion on how the Dutch prioritise cycling over private cars in practice whereas in Ireland it is in theory.


Roundabouts are much safer than regular intersections. There is not much debate about that fact in the Netherlands. But when it comes to the priority rules on roundabouts the opinions differ sometimes. Why does cycling need to get the right of way over motor traffic on roundabouts? This guideline from the Dutch Ministry of Transport, “causes many unnecessary victims among people cycling”, a small minority of opponents claims. Is that true? Or do Dutch road safety experts, cycling advocates and most of the authorities maybe look at a bigger piture?

A pedestrian and a cyclist on a roundabout in ’s-Hertogenbosch, both have priority over the drivers who wait patiently for their turn.

Every now and then the discussion flares up about the priority of cycling on roundabouts. In the Netherlands the guidelines are clear: in the built-up area cycling must have priority over motor traffic and outside the built-up area…

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