Following direction signs with designated lanes
When following direction signs you will often see 'route numbers' next to place names or exits. Some complex roundabouts use the route numbers on the sign to help you select the correct lane for the desired exit. These are often referred to as a designated lane. The idea is to look at the number on the sign, and then look for road markings with the same number. Disregard numbers on the signs that are in brackets. Such routes may be miles away from your current location, but using the route not in brackets will send you in the correct direction to reach that particular route. Lets look at an example.


When you look at the sign, you are entering the junction from the spur at the bottom. If you were heading for FILTON, you would need to turn left first exit onto the A4174. You will see A38 next to Filton, but as it is in brackets you will require that route number at a later stage on your journey. In order to reach that point you are required to follow the A4174.

If you were heading for YATE, you will ultimately need to follow the A432, but in order to get there you are following the A4174 as that is the route required in order to get there.

So that explains the route numbers, now we need to look at how to select the correct lanes. When approaching the roundabout you will either need to follow a designated marked lane that will take you to a specific exit, or you will negotiate the roundabout as you would any other counting off exits and looking for the one you need. It's not always obvious what information is needed so the more you take in the better prepared you will be.

Lets look at another example.


Looking at the picture above, we are going to head for NOTTINGHAM. At this stage we don't know whether the roundabout will have basic lanes approaching, or whether designated marked lanes will be used, so we need to know:

1)Where is the exit? Left, Ahead, or Right?

2)How many exits to get to the Nottingham exit?

3)The route number.

So we are turning RIGHT, 3RD EXIT following the A610.

If the lanes are unmarked, TURN RIGHT 3RD EXIT.

If route numbers are marked, follow the A610.

With designated lanes you will usually see signage and markings as in the following picture:


So with designated lanes we are now selecting lanes 1 or 2 as they are marked A610. Both lanes will take you there as long as you remain in the lane and don't straddle lane markings into other lanes.
Drivers often get confused on such roundabouts as they have failed to select the route number from the sign. If you don't know the route number how will you know what lane to select? The result would be a driver who ends up using the right hand lane (as they are aware they are turning right), realising as they negotiate the roundabout that it is taking them past the required exit, and so cutting across lanes to attempt to leave the roundabout, CHAOS!!
These roundabouts are sometimes referred to as 'Spiral Roundabouts' as the lanes spiral outwards to carry the lanes towards the exits. See below:


See how the green car enters the roundabout into the far right hand lane, and without changing lanes it takes the vehicle to a specific exit.
If lanes start to widen, they usually divide up into more lanes. Ideally keep to the left of the lane otherwise you could end up entering a new lane that takes you further around to an exit after the one you wanted.