The Magic Roundabout, the town’s unique traffic management system, is becoming a viral sensation via an US online website featuring current and future trends.
Wired.com picked up on the alchemy at work here after Swindon175, in association with MINI Plant Swindon, staged mobile celebration on Saturday 9 July when an impressive collection of more than 70 classic cars drove around the town’s famous Magic Roundabout.
All the vehicles in the Magic Wheels of Steel parade contained body panels pressed at the town’s BMW Group MINI Plant, formerly known as Pressed Steel, which is celebrating its sixtieth anniversary in 2016.
More than 100 people were up early to watch the choreographed cavalcade of Minis, Rovers, Triumphs, Rolls Royce, Morris, Austins, Rileys, an AC, Jaguars and Land Rovers from 7am, before the multiple mini-roundabouts that make the Magic Roundabout so unique reopened to the public after overnight maintenance work.
Wired.com released an online video – see below – featuring the drone footage of the Magic Wheels of Steel display by www.aair.biz explaining how the Magic Roundabout has worked since it was built in 1972.
Although the article headline calls it ‘insane’,writer Aarian Marshall describes the roundabout as a brilliant piece of sorcery: ‘This place is Swindon, they tell me. It is in south England, a land recently torn asunder (by Brexit). They call this swirl of movement the ‘magic roundabout.’
‘The scholars say the roundabout reduces injurious crashes by three quarters. The magic roundabout is more glorious still, an artifact of 20th century optimism and a belief that all things can be more perfect. It gives the cars multiple pathways to the same destination. As people choose their personal routes, they decrease the likelihood of colliding. They move freely and safely—to the right as well as the left. More options, more efficiency.’
The video commentary says: “You point your vehicle where you want to go, yield to cars in the midst of magic, then Brexit on the other side.”
Helpfully Wired.com provides an aerial illustration of the many options on to get to grips with the magic:
Swindon175 marks the anniversary of the birth of new Swindon when construction began on the Great Western Railway’s locomotive repair shed. Throughout 2016 a range of events, supported by sponsors and Swindon Borough Council and managed by Business West, are involving Swindon people and businesses are celebrating the town’s rich heritage and achievements.
Swindon175 project manager Caroline Black said: “It’s fantastic that Wired.com has picked up on one of the many unique features of Swindon. Swindon175 is celebrating how the railways powered the town into the industrial revolution in the 19th Century and laid the foundations for success over the last 175 years.
“It was great to partner with Mini Plant Swindon to celebrate 60 years of the pressing plant. The parade around the Magic Roundabout on 9 July was a fantastic way to show how many types of vehicle included steel panels made in Swindon, from the past to the present in the iconic Mini. The Aair drone video was a wonderful illustration of what makes Swindon so unique.”