Today, I very nearly hit a cyclist on a roundabout and I honestly don’t know who was at fault, probably me.

It was on the school run and, as such, the roads were very busy.

I had dropped off the kids and was heading home for tea, toast and a morning of work. The radio was on, more worrying news from the Middle East with Israel striking back at Iran, but I didn’t feel like my concentration levels were any different to normal.

The clock had ticked to 8.15am, so the roads were very busy, especially as I approached a double roundabout that sits on the base of a hill to another local secondary school. It is, without doubt, one of the busiest pinch-points in the town, particularly at rush hour.

The first roundabout has three entry points and almost always backs up with a few cars in each direction, but those familiar with the area, which is presumably the vast majority of the drivers early on a Friday morning, are comfortable with the ‘conventions’ for tackling this junction.

I approached at a slow speed, in second gear, the car in front took their turn to go straight on, the car on the left went next, then the car to my right. In my mind, it was my turn next!

It is a familiar dance drivers make all the time at this roundabout, everybody takes their turn in order, so nobody is waiting for too long. Obviously, there are exceptions, possibly when a driver less familiar with this roundabout is involved or maybe a slightly more hesitant driver.

Which is absolutely fair enough!

If I was approaching a multi-entry roundabout in an unfamiliar town or city, I would do so with more caution.

This morning, however, a scenario arose that was close to being very dangerous.

As I approached ‘my turn’, the car to my right turned right to head up the hill to my left. I proceeded to head straight over the roundabout but, at the last minute, spotted a cyclist following close behind the car that had turned right up the hill.

We both stopped on the roundabout, the cyclist gave me an understandably disappointed look and I instinctively mouthed through the side window: ‘I just didn’t see you’.

And that’s the honest truth, I never saw him until it was almost too late.

My weak defence is that he had followed immediately behind the first car to my right and I didn’t see him pedalling close behind the other vehicle. I was simply ‘taking my turn’ on the roundabout, as there were cars backing up at the other two entry points to the roundabout.

Was he too close behind the other car for me to see or was I too hasty in trying to ‘take my turn’?

I don’t know the specifics of the Highway Code but I obviously do know you give way to the right on a roundabout, which means, to the letter of the law, I was in the wrong and any collision would have been my fault.

I know there is a never-ending conflict between drivers and cyclists, not something that has really bothered me before, apart from a mild tut if stuck behind a bike on a busy road.

It is a tut that won’t be sounded again and, if by some miracle, the cyclist from today’s roundabout incident should read this: ‘Sorry mate, I honestly didn’t see you, but I should have been a lot more careful’.

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