Hanger Lane Gyratory
This big roundabout is where the North Circular meets the A40 Western Avenue. If you can avoid it (eg by driving through Park Royal or Acton then I suggest you do so - be warned that to both sides of the road are industrial estates, with there windy small roads that go nowhere - an A-Z will do little to help. If you are travelling on the A40 itself, there is an underpass which will take you straight under the gyratory, so you don't even have to slow down (unless the roundabout is already full, in which case the queues often go back to Acton in the east and [Perivale]? in the west).
If you really do need to go round it, then there are some rules that make things easier:
- Don't go near it during rush hour - there is no point. You will be stuck on a roundabout for an hour. This is not a Good Thing.
- Keep an eye on the lane markings - the roundabout is divided into sections by traffic lights, and you will probably (unless you get your speed just right) get stuck at each one. This gives you a chance to check out the lane markings on the next section. They change from section to section, generally moving one lane to the left.
- The roadsign diagrams of the gyratory are a little confusing, but basically it is a roundabout with traffic lights at most of its entry/exits. There are 6 roads off it (excluding the shop slip roads which don't go anywhere). The A40 running east to central london and west towards Perivale, Northolt and the M40 make up two exits of the gyratory. The North Circular (A406) running north to Brent Cross (Ikea etc) and south down to Uxbridge Road (and then the A4 and Chiswick) make up another two of the exits. The southbound part of the North Circular here is also called Hanger Lane. One of the other exits, between the westbound A40 exit and northbound North Circular exit, is the continuation of Hanger Lane, which goes up to towards Alperton. The final and smallest road off it is Twyford Abbey Road, in between the northbound North Circular and the eastbound A40. There are no lights on its entry and it heads towards the centre of the Park Royal industrial estate.
After a little practise (like 6 months maybe...) Hanger Lane will hold no fears for you, and you will try instead to get round without stopping at the lights (which is possible, but your timing and respect for amber lights must be incredible and non-existent respectively). With this in mind, the timings of the lights change at around 11pm, making it possible to get round with all the lights on green in cars lesser than a Porsche 911 GTI.