It may help here if I clarify/expand on the difference between what I called swimming in circles and swimming in clockwise/counter-clockwise traffic flows.
In Finland we swim in 2.5m wide lanes each separated from the other by a lane rope. Each of these lanes is then notionaly divided by the swimmers into two 1.2m wide tracks, around the lane marker line on the bottom of the pool, and swimmers swim in a counter-clockwise flow, up one side of each lane and down the other, turning on the wall "T" in close to a normal manner. No swimming across the end of these lanes is needed or possible and this is the key difference to the Scottish "lanes" system.
The offer of "lane swimming" in Scotland is made by removing lane ropes so that lanes become combined. Swimmers are obliged to swim in a circle, clockwise, in these larger areas so it is not possible to turn in a normal manner at the end as there is a 5m+ width to cross before you are able to swim back in the opposite direction. Slow breastroke swimmers manage to keep swimming all around the circular path but freestylers have to either stop and shuffle across the ends before doing another lap, making swimming more than 25m at a time impossible, or else come off the wall at an angle, with the attendant risks of collision etc.
Lanes are combined in Finland too, but only for vesijuoksu (water-running) and other water based exercise, not for lane swimming.
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