Is it a roundabout or a junction? Statue of Queen Mother in the village of Poundbury, Prince Charles’ designer, causes traffic chaos for confused motorists
- Statue of the Queen Mother in Poundbury village has caused confusion in the area
- The Poundbury Estate on the outskirts of Dorchester was built on Duchy lands
- Some residents have now said that driving there is a ‘minefield’ and a ‘free for all’
Prince Charles’ ‘perfect’ village of Poundbury is a ‘dangerous minefield’ for motorists – who, according to locals, don’t know whether a statue of the Queen Mother is a roundabout or not.
The Poundbury Estate on the outskirts of Dorchester was built on Duchy land – and designed as a ‘new approach’ to town planning.
It was made ‘on the principles of Prince Charles’, who is known for his outspoken views on the post-war urban sprawl.
But some locals say driving there is a “minefield” and a “free for all,” with particular confusion caused by a statue of the Queen Mother.
Motorists are confused as to whether or not a statue of the Queen Mother in Poundbury village is a roundabout
Local motorists and driving instructors say they do not know whether the 2016 monument is a roundabout – or not.
Residents say they don’t know how to approach certain parts of the estate, especially the bronze and concrete statue.
Drivers say road signs suggest it’s a roundabout, but others say they think the arrows are just for directing traffic.
Commenting on the debate online, one person said: ‘Not sure if the Queen Mother is a roundabout or a junction?!’
Another said: ‘Poundbury is a strange concept, borrowing from communities usually built around social change and vernacular styles that change over the generations.
“The older ending starts to soften a bit, but Queen Mother Square is pretentious, contrived and poorly designed.”
A third added: ‘Lots of parked vehicles, but many people don’t seem to know where to drive.’
A fourth said: ‘The statue of the Queen Mother looks from all angles as if she has a bird on her head. Parking is chaotic.’
A fifth said: ‘The only good thing about Queen Mother Square is the statue of the good lady herself.
Residents say they don’t know how to approach certain parts of the estate – especially the bronze and concrete statue
Others have said that driving near the statue in the village is a ‘minefield’ and a ‘free for all’
‘It’s huge, it’s busy, not at all in keeping with the local Dorset countryside.
“Prince Charles and the Duchy of Cornwall should be ashamed of the monster they have created.”
Darren Stocke, a retired driving instructor, said teaching lessons were a “minefield.”
He said: ‘It’s designed to slow down traffic, but it doesn’t work.
“You could drive there and someone could just stop right in front of you because they don’t know what they’re doing — it’s a minefield.
‘I said someone was going to be killed here and it happened – it happened in Poundbury, just around the corner from the statue.
“It’s not just any roundabout. The actual image of the Queen Mother is free for everyone – no one takes precedence over anyone else.’
According to the highway code, Mr Stocke said it is not a roundabout but ‘people look at the directional signs and automatically think it is a roundabout’.
He added that “legally there is no roundabout, but I have always told my students to pretend it is, just for safety’s sake.”
In a statement, a Dorset Council spokesperson said: ‘Queen Mother Square, Poundbury has been designed and built in accordance with the Poundbury Master Plan and planning permission granted in October 1999.
‘The area itself has not yet been established as a highway maintainable at the expense of the government; However, Dorset Council has worked closely with the Duchy of Cornwall on the detailed design and layout.
The central statue in the square is drawn on all approaches with directional arrows to indicate the direction vehicles should drive around the object (a blue circle with white arrow).
‘According to the Traffic Sign Regulations and the General Directions 2016, these signs are regulatory signs and as such all vehicles must comply with them.’