1. ITV Report

40 years of Swindon's Magic Roundabout

Swindon's Magic Roundabout has been voted Britain's scariest junction Photo: ITV News

Swindon's Magic Roundabout turns 40 today.

The junction, located near the County Ground football stadium, opened in 1972.

Its unusual design consists of five mini-roundabouts arranged around a sixth central, anti-clockwise roundabout.

The Magic Roundabout is often referred to as Swindon’s best known landmark, putting fear into any visitor to the town or youngster learning to drive.

The junction was designed by Road Research Laboratories in conjunction with Norman Pritchard, and since its arrival has been voted one of the worst junctions in Britain and listed in the 50 most confusing things in the country.

Despite its reputation, the junction has proved to be a huge success with very few accidents, and even attracted the likes of Disney Land to be twinned with the town.

Mayor of Swindon Mick Bray said: “The key to it is always look to your right and you can’t go wrong."

Roundabout fan Kevin Beresford says the junction is a "white knuckle ride".

Mr Beresford, who runs the roundabout appreciation society, Roundabouts of Great Britain, said: "Swindonians should beam with pride with this fantastic feat of road engineering, which it has to be stated has now achieved iconic status around the world."

The local authority officially named the junction County Islands Roundabout, but it became commonly known as the Magic Roundabout due to its unique design.

When it opened in 1972, police were stationed at each mini roundabout during the pilot phase to assist drivers and oversee how traffic coped with the lay-out.

Julian Brunetti, who runs Queens Drive Post Office which looks out onto the roundabout, said: "Some people come in and panic and say 'oh how do I get across it', but overall it's pretty good really.

"You get the odd accident now and again when people are a bit silly, but if you say the Magic Roundabout, everyone links Swindon to it."