Beckett’s farm roundabout
Beckett’s farm roundabout is what most learner drivers find the hardest thing to master on driving lessons in Birmingham.
This page will describe to you how to drive Beckett’s farm roundabout by applying two simple rules.
The videos below show you two full driving lessons in Birmingham around Beckett’s farm. The third video shows Lucy applying what she has learnt on similar roundabouts in other areas she didn’t know to prove these methods work.
The roundabout action starts at 13:07 and sorry about me mumbling, that’s something I improved after filming all these videos 😀
Why is Beckett’s farm roundabout so hard to drive?
Beckett’s farm roundabout is what is called a gyratory roundabout. They’re also known as spiral roundabouts and I have my own name for them that you’ll learn if you take driving lessons with me!
This means that the lanes spiral out as you go round. You don’t just drive round following the shape of the roundabout, you follow the lane instead.
By the way, you can call it a roundabout or an island: it makes no difference. Also, I know it’s spelt Beckett’s and not Becketts but that’s not what people type in when searching for it.
How to drive Becketts farm roundabout
There are two simple rules to follow to make any roundabout easy:
- Choose the lane as far to the left as you can for the direction you want
- Stay in your lane
It sounds simple and it is. People find it hard because they simply don’t apply these rules!
Let’s look at them in more detail.
Rule 1 – Stay as far left as you can
When approaching a roundabout you should always choose the lane as far left as you can for the way you want to go.
A common mistake people make is thinking that the right lane is the default lane to go ahead. It isn’t. This isn’t just my opinion, these are the official rules and laws of the road laid down by the highway code, the DVSA and more.
I’ve taught over 1,000 people to drive and when I ask which lane is best to use to go ahead if both are available, 99% of people say the right lane. I don’t know where this comes from but it’s incredible how many people get it wrong. I’ve had 10 or less people EVER get this right.
You should start off looking at the left most lane. Does it go the way you want? If yes then that’s it – that’s your lane!
If it doesn’t then look at the next one along to the right. Repeat that process and you’ll find the lane you need. It really is that simple.
Common mistakes with keeping left
Don’t just assume the middle lane goes ahead or that the right lane goes right. Always look at the left lane first and if that goes your way then use it.
There are many roundabouts where the left lane even goes right.
The way you’re going doesn’t matter: always use the lane as far left as you can no matter what direction you want.
Where people go wrong here is that they ALWAYS use the left lane and say “You told me to always use the left lane!”.
I’ve never said always use the left lane. I’ve said use the lane as far left as you can.
See the difference?
Rule 2 – Stay in your lane
The next rule is simply to stay in your lane.
Many drivers, new and experienced, have this thing where they’ll swerve to the right as soon as they join a roundabout. Again, I don’t know where this comes from but you’ll see me talking about it in the videos above.
If you start in the left lane stay in the left lane.
If you start in the middle lane stay in the middle lane.
And if you start in the right lane…stay in the right lane!
Imagine that you’re in the middle lane of 3. When you move off you then swerve to the right lane on the roundabout, well you’re going to crash into the car that started in the right lane. If you wanted to be in the right lane then you should have started in the right lane.
As I often say: like to like. That means left to left, middle to middle and right to right.
Common mistakes with keeping left
It makes no sense to go left to middle or middle to right. Why would you be changing lanes as soon as you join? That can only mean you were in the wrong lane to start with.
On some roundabouts such as Beckett’s farm it can SEEM like you change but you’re not, you’re just following the movement of the lane.
You simply follow the lane until it comes off the roundabout. Follow the lane and not the shape of the roundabout. If you’re going right for example, don’t hug the roundabout and swerve off at the last minute.
Follow your lane and you should be driving over any markings telling you where you’re going. If you’re heading for the A435 and see a sign on the floor saying A435 then you should be driving over it – not next to it!
There are exceptions where you cross a lane to the left but let’s look at that point next.
Don’t move right – usually
If you drive gyratory roundabouts well then you hardly ever have to move to the right.
Think about it – your exit will be on the left so the closer you get to your exit the further left you should be.
If you want exit 4 and you’re still in the right lane after exit 3 then you’re probably driving incorrectly. For exit 4 you’d normally move left after exit 3 but it can be sooner such as exit 2 or even exit 1.
Becketts farm roundabout practice
In your driving lessons, we’ll practice all of this many times.
The rules above are to refresh your mind and make it seem simpler but nothing beats getting out there on the road with an expert and doing it.
Book your Becketts farm driving lessons online now and we can have you driving it perfectly in no time.