Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Better than traffic lights or too much confusion? Elgin has its say on its 10 A96 roundabouts

Some readers have defended Elgin's collection of unique roundabouts while others have called for improvements.

Cars at Dr Gray's roundabout on A96 in Elgin.
Elgin has a mix of large and small roundabouts, all unique in their own way. Image: DC Thomson

There has been an outpouring of love and frustration over Elgin’s 10 A96 roundabouts after the Press and Journal asked if the town was Scotland’s roundabout capital.

Despite it being the express Aberdeen to Inverness road, motorists go in circles roughly every 300 yards in the Moray town.

Throw in five, soon to be seven, sets of traffic lights and it can be slow going through Elgin at times.

Not all motorists are downbeat about the roundabouts though, many have praised them for keeping the vehicles moving as much as possible.

However, others have criticised the sequences of junctions as being confusing.

The Press and Journal has been looking at the best of the social media reaction. Have your say in the comments section below. 

‘Roundabouts are better than traffic lights’

Many Elgin motorists have looked elsewhere to find cause to celebrate the town’s A96 roundabouts. Specifically, they’ve looked 22 miles west to Nairn.

Drivers have praised the system in Moray’s biggest town as more free-flowing than the traffic lights in their Highland neighbours.

Neil Lyle posted: “Still moves a lot better than Nairn, and that’s only two roundabouts.”

Dorothy Barclay simply wrote: “Nairn is worse!”

Traffic backed up on A96 in Nairn.
Are Elgin’s roundabouts better at managing traffic than Nairn’s traffic lights? Image: Sandy McCook/DC Thomson

Stuart Davidson wrote: “Better than traffic lights. My hometown near Manchester has 16 sets of traffic lights in 1.5 miles. 25 sets in four miles to get to a motorway.”

However, Carol Allan sounded a warning about the upcoming two new traffic lights to be installed on the A96 in Elgin.

She posted: “Just wait until the new traffic lights at a couple more of these roundabouts get up and running. It’s gonna be sooooo much fun.”

Are Elgin’s roundabouts confusing?

The biggest criticism for Elgin’s A96 roundabouts is the lack of consistency on them from one to the other.

While some require drivers to be in the left lane to continue on the A96, others need motorists to be in the right lane.

The change from one to the other caused days of confusion at the KFC roundabout last year. 

Jayne MacDonald posted: “There’s not one single roundabout in Elgin with the same markings at all. And the state of some of the roads is an absolute disgrace.”

Cars on A96 at KFC roundabout with arrows on the road, left in left lane, straight ahead in right lane.
The layout of the KFC roundabout in Elgin was recently changed. Image: David Mackay/DC Thomson

Jenni Coelho replied: “Different rules at every one and every approach. Anyone not local doesn’t stand a chance.

“Not just because of this, but because of all the folk that just barrel onto the roundabout.”

Pat Garrow wrote: “Still dizzy going round them twice to Inverness. The Elgin folk have their own unique method of tackling them.”

‘A96 needs an upgrade’

If and when the A96 is dualled, all of Elgin’s roundabouts will be bypassed with a new road to the south of the town.

Many on social media say the upgrade is badly needed to cope with increasing traffic in the area.

Omar Choudhury wrote: “It’s a shambles through the day. I don’t understand why they don’t build a bypass for Elgin and Nairn, but they built one for Fochabers.”

Tailbacks on A96 in Elgin.
Does Elgin need an A96 bypass? Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

Mark Leighton posted: “If you said to someone from another country it can take three hours to get between two major cities only 100 miles apart they would find it hard to believe you.

“It’s a joke of a road and should be dualled as a priority.”

Mike Gray wrote: “This is one of the reasons I cut off the A96 at Huntly when travelling to Alness.

“Although mileage-wise it is longer, it is usually much quicker than the A96 and a more attractive route.”

Is Elgin Scotland’s roundabout capital?

Maybe, maybe not. As with most things, it depends on the eye of the beholder.

Our readers nominated several other contenders across Scotland for the title.

Dundee, Glenrothes, Ayr and Cumbernauld all got mentions. However, East Kilbride got the most mentions from all those who commented on the original story.

Cars on A96 roundabout in Elgin with Dr Gray's Hospital behind.
The Dr Gray’s roundabout in Elgin is brightened up in spring with cherry blossom. Image: Jason Hedges/DC Thomson

The Lanarkshire town is nicknamed Polo Mint City by some due to it reportedly having more than 600 roundabouts.

While the town, Scotland’s sixth largest community though it is, can certainly claim to have more roundabouts its credentials to be an official city are undoubtedly lacking compared to Elgin.

Read more about Elgin