Hemel Hempstead Roundabout, UK
Safetrack LM & SC keeps traffic flowing on busy junction while minimising disruption
“The Magic Roundabout” in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire is a familiar name given to a complex road junction also known as “The Moor End” or “Plough”. Despite its name, the Magic Roundabout is not actually a roundabout. It was constructed in 1973 to reduce the congestion at the original standard layout roundabout where seven roads intersected.
The junction boasts to be one of the first bi-directional roundabouts to be constructed in the UK and consists of six mini roundabouts with traffic flowing in all directions to and from them. Thermoplastics had traditionally been used to provide its road line markings but their propensity to quickly fade and the danger this can cause motorists on an already difficult road system meant maintenance was becoming necessary as often as every six months.
Amey La Farge & Mouchel
WJ Linkline Group
- Safetrack LM & SC - Hemel Hempstead Magic Roundabout
Line marking contractor WJ Linkline Group carried out the actual resurfacing works over fifteen nights with temporary line markings being installed every night to ensure safe traffic flow was maintained the following morning.
Once all the asphalt had been laid, the roundabout’s asphalt surface was white lined using Safetrack LM Retromax, which combines Stirling Lloyd’s advanced resin technology with specially selected glass beads to give higher and significantly longer-lasting retro-reflectivity values and improved skid resistance.
In addition throughout the mini-roundabout system Safetrack SC slip resistant surfacing, in a vibrant red colour was used to provide demarcation islands between the traffic lanes.
Mouchel’s Mark Saunders commented: “Because this is such a heavily trafficked roundabout it required frequent maintenance which has been awkward and time consuming to complete. Offering much greater wear resistance and a promised lifespan five times that of a normal thermoplastic, we were very keen to try Stirling Lloyd’s advanced resin system and, following completion of the project, initial feedback on the Safetrack surfacing has been very positive.”
With greater wear resistance, colour stability and the far longer service life offered by Safetrack compared to the thermoplastics it replaced, the client can look forward to the benefits of significantly reduced maintenance and congestion.
The work took five visits with seven traffic management changes required. Douglas Ewing, who heads up Linkline’s specialist markings division commented: “The Magic Roundabout is like no other in the country and therefore presented its own unique challenge.
It was an intensive application programme over fifteen nights of road closure but was completed on schedule and with minimal inconvenience to the town’s motorists.”