Harbour Crossroads – you may have been wondering…

Harbour Crossroads (large version)

It’s stating the obvious, but Harbour Crossroads is a very different layout to Westham Crossroads and works in a different pattern.

At Harbour, opposing traffic flows move at the same time and it has been monitored that some drivers are having difficulty when trying to turn right – and a minority are not adhering to the Highway Code.

To try and help, the phasing of the Harbour Crossroads signals is:

  1. Boot Hill runs at the same time as Westwey Road, right turners have to give way to oncoming traffic and each other.
  2. Westwey Road then stops and Boot Hill gets a right turn arrow where they can turn right without any opposing traffic, at the same time North Quay get a left turn filter arrow so they can turn left onto Boot Hill without opposing traffic.
  3. North Quay runs at the same time as Newstead Road, with right turners giving way to oncoming traffic and each other. 
  4. North Quay stops and Newstead Road get a right turn arrow where they can turn right onto Boot Hill without any opposing traffic.

North Quay traffic going ahead to Newstead Road should pass to the left of the road island and right turners to the right of the island. 

Newstead Road traffic going ahead to North Quay should pass to the left of the island and right turners to the right of the island.

Green circle Vs green arrow

Drivers should be aware of the difference between a green ‘go’ circle and a green ‘go’ arrow:

A green circle means you may proceed if the way is clear, you should take special care if turning left or right and give way to pedestrians crossing.

A green arrow means that movement in a certain direction is allowed before or after the full green phase. If the way is clear you may go but only in the direction shown by the arrow.

This type of signal is used elsewhere in the borough including at the Littlemoor lights and at Morisson’s.

Pedestrian crossings

Some people have been concerned about the lack of sound indicating that it is safe to cross.

The crossings are very close to each other and it would be very hard for partially sighted or blind pedestrians to know which one was safe to cross. Instead, each crossing has a tactile cone underneath the pushbutton that rotates when the green man is lit.

Also, there is no need to rush to cross the road. The crossings are Puffins, which means they have a detector that stops traffic for as long as it takes for a pedestrian to cross.

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43 Responses to “Harbour Crossroads – you may have been wondering…”

  1. malcolm Says:

    My previos comment was posted before I had read your message: “Harbour Crossroads———You may have been wondering”.
    It would appear that I am not entirely alone in my confusion.
    Your thumbnail sketch does little or nothing to explain the situation.
    The written explanation is of great help, but with all the giving way business it sounds very much like a roundabout with another name.
    I hope that I can look back in a years time and say “It’s not so bad after all”.

  2. david macleod Says:

    1. I hope all the visitors & holidaymakers have also been thus instructed!
    2. Me? it seems a bit of a shambles – perhaps a Russian Lady Cop + whistle could help!
    3. Traffic coming down Boot Hill are likely to conflict with the up-going & right turning vehicles – I predict a few bent starboard bows.
    4. Has the designer of this ‘new’ junction – [can’t call it a roundabout] – joined the Labour Exchange queue? as part of the cutbacks?

  3. Stuart Morris Says:

    I am surprised that you have full green aspect for traffic from Boot Hill instead of separate ahead and right-turn filter arrows. I know that would have involved an additional short phase, but I can see accidents looming with the current layout.
    Your diagram on https://weymouthtransportpackage.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/harbour-crossroads-vehicle-movements.jpg
    does not show right-turners from Boot Hill having to cross those from Westwey Road.

    • Stuart Morris Says:

      To clarify my earlier post: Surely it would be safer to give right-turners from Boot Hill a filtered stage before allowing traffic from Westwey Road to move forward?

  4. John Rogers Says:

    I was driving along Westway Road towards Boot Hill today. There was a large van ahead of me that pulled into the right hand of the two straight on lanes. I took the left lane marked straight on only. As we had approached the lights had turned green so without slowing (approx 15 to 20 mph) I passed the van on the left (i.e. I took the straight on lane after passing through a definite green light) as the van slowed appearing to be planning to turn right. I was therefore blind to the right and was accelerating towards boot hill perhaps mistakenly thinking I had right of way. I passed just in front of a car traveling across the junction from my right.

    This dangerous junction is the subject of numerous posts on facebook.

    The need to publish a guide for this junction is a signed confession that not only is this junction dangerous but that the authorities know that it is. I wonder where that puts the responsibility for any serious incident that may occur there.

  5. David Says:

    no matter what you put in writing to put down people who have problems with this crossroads it is better you drive there including all local police and experience it. Then take the appropriate action before a catastrophe. The cure would be to have a red arrow, which would not cause much delay since the volume of cars going from Boot Hill to the harbour is small.

  6. Rachel Says:

    Madness – how is this junior spaghetti junction anything like littlemoor or morrisons? They are simple and function safely – this does not (and I drive a taxi so I see these new ‘improvements’ on a daily basis).

    Not very impressed

  7. b Tweedy Says:

    Green circle Vs green arrow

    I take it that the green circle is the normal traffic light, ie a circle completely green?

    And what does this mean, quote – “should take special care if turning left or right and give way to pedestrians crossing”? Aren’t there specific times when pedestrians can cross in between signal changes?

    Bill

  8. wildcatrod Says:

    Good grief! Is this what we’ve come to? Coming from Westwey Road to Boot hill requires crossing marked lanes and negotiating traffic from Asda going to the Town Bridge which is scary. And why do we have to cause a tailback in Boot Hill when waiting to turn right into Wyke Road? Simple solution: Put a mini roundabout by The Rodwell Hotel and replace the Olympic Zil lights with a roundabout at Asda. [You could even plant trees on it and festoon them with tacky Christmas decorations.]

    Sorry I forgot, these wretched Olympics are a win win situation. I must not get frustrated and I will enjoy the Beach Road lamp post hung with banners again, while i rush to the people of the Borough’s Nothe Gardens to pay to do what is normally paid for by my rates.

  9. John New Says:

    The two key part sof the problem are (1) that silly little bollard in the middle of the road and (2) the daft angle the whole thing has been built to despite the room against the harbour wall. End result is that it doesn’t look like a crossroads. Take out the silly bollard and put some lane markings in showing the through route to/from North Quay making it an obvious crossroads. The design was flawed so it will not be safe until the North Quay side is slewed over to be closer to the harbour wall.

    Example of issue – I went through it this afternoon turning right out of Newstead Road from ASDA. I knew I DID NOT have right of way and stopped but the car coming out of North Quay looked totally confused and also stopped. The one behind me nearly rammed my rear as he thought he did have right of way.

  10. Steve Says:

    This is stating the obvious, but judging by some of the drivers I’ve seen on this junction it needed saying! I think some people have forgotten the highway code!

  11. Allan Chatfield Says:

    The new traffic system gives you a ‘Green light’ to turn into oncoming traffic! Intelligent lights??! This is a accident waiting to happen. I wonder how the Courts would view a claim by an accident victim agaisnt DCC?

  12. Steve Baker Says:

    I understand the theory, but in practice it is not working.

    Twice recently I have nearly been hit by drivers who do not understand the system, or are simply ignoring the Highway Code.

    Once I was coming from Westwey Road to go up Boot Hill (on a green light) and a car coming from Boot Hill cut across me to go up North Quay.
    The same thing happened when coming out of Newstead Road to go up North Quay, when a car coming from North Quay cut across me to go up Westwey Road. Both near misses.

    In my opinion, it is just a matter of time before there is a nasty accident, which in itself would lead to even more traffic chaos. Think of the holidaymakers in the Summer, who will not be used to the new crossroads.

    I therefore ask, why can’t the sequencing used at the Westham Crossroads be replicated here i.e.1 junction at a time on a green light.

    • Stephen Jones Says:

      To add more first hand experience (18:40 07 Feb 2011), here are two incidents while driving from Boot Hill to Westwey Road on Green.

      Incident 1) Driver in front of me narrowly avoids collision with driver turning right from Westwey.

      Incident 2) After braking sharply, but not realising error, driver from Westway tries to cut in front of me. Another near miss.

      • Al Says:

        I couldn’t agree more. It would be safer to either replicate the one direction at a time approach, or use filter ‘green arrows’ to allow straight on traffic to go then right turning traffic.

        I use the junction daily and on the first day I nearly saw a cyclist heading from Westwey Road to Boot Hill knocked off by a car turning right from Boot Hill onto North Quay. Just this afternoon a car wanting to make the same turn was almost on the verge or cutting into a long line of traffic going from Westwey Road to Boot Hill.

        Just a few days ago I was using the crossing at the bottom of Boothill and nearly saw a car waiting to turn right from Newstead Road to Boot Hill hit head-on by a car going straight on from North Quay to Newstead Road, simply as its not clear that there is land speration here.

        I have also used the pedestrian crossing and also had problems. In particular, crossing from the firestation side to the middle enroute to Asda, it frequently takes 3 presses of the button (as they light around the button goes out without going to the green man) before a green man appears. How this can occur is beyond me but maybe I’m invisible to the intelligent lights!!!!

  13. Alison Says:

    I think the council are doing a sterling job !! By the time the holiday makers have been for their Weymouth and Portland “holiday” this year, they will be returning with fond memories of “new design features” on their vehicles, and learnt “new vocabulary” acquired whilst traversing our “people friendly” traffic lights; once they have conquered this they will be delighted at the oh so reasonable parking charges and the thought of negotiating this all over again in a return journey. By the time the Olympics arrives, the message will have gone out and no one will be visiting our lovely part of the world. Any idea if Mr Drax commutes daily driven by himself to our world?

  14. Nick Says:

    I went from Westway Road to Asda last week without issue. There is a similar “nearside to nearside” setup at the crossroads by the Builder Centre in Dorchester. Please see point 181: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/TravelAndTransport/Highwaycode/DG_070332

    • John New Says:

      The difference Nick is there it still looks like a crossroads, the Weymouth Harbour crossroads does not due to the way it has been built.

  15. Matt Says:

    I have to agree with a previous comment above about how people have forgotten about the highway code and just how bad some drivers are. I don`t understand why anyone needs to “learn” the new layout and are concerned holiday makers won`t understand the junction, this is obsurd, if you are not confident enough to drive through new road layouts you should not be on the road.

    It would cause huge tailbacks if this was set up like the Westham junction, this needs to stay two way in order to keep traffic flowing as much as possible.

    When all junctions are up and running Weymouth will still suffer from queues. Weymouth is a very small town with a large population, this town will never be able to cope with the amount out traffic we have no matter if you have lights or roundabouts.

    If people indicated more and stuck to the highway code maybe the roundabouts would have stayed, but what people are forgetting is that the works going on is to give this town a better public transport network, not to help the daily driver.

    If everyone drove properly then there would not be a problem at any junction.

  16. Sue Says:

    I am a safe driver, twice I have now tried these lights and am confused like many. It is a nightmare and I am now concerned about going through them again. While in queue in Newstead Road, Asda on my right, cars went across on green light to turn right up Boot hill, the set of lights to the right turned Red and stopped two cars in the middle , one car reversed backwards to Newstead Road to get out of the way of traffic. Just dont know what to think about all this , am waiting for a really bad collision and just hope its not me

  17. Weymouth Transport Package Says:

    Thank you for your comments – they are being recorded, along with any phone calls, emails and letters the team receive about this new junction.

    Engineers are continuing to monitor Harbour Crossroads and are assessing what further work may be needed.

    • Jon Fells Says:

      Surely, needing to have engineers monitor, and decide whether or not FURTHER work needs to be done, means that the system was incorrectly planned in the first place?

      Perhaps also not taking the terrible design of the ASDA car park in to consideration.

      Earlier today I was traveling from North Quay into Newstead Road so that I could, eventually, get to Marsh Road. There was a 4×4 exiting Newstead Road to travel towards Boot Hill, blocking my view into Newstead Road. The driver of the 4×4 waved me across his path to allow me in to Newstead road, as I passed him I realised that my exit was not clear due to traffic backing up from the entrance to ASDA. I was stuck with a car behind me, and to my left was the dividing island at the bottom of Boot Hill. The traffic on Newstead road didn’t move for over a minute, in which time the signals holding the traffic on Boot Hill turned green. While they were green the Newstead Road traffic began to move across my path, there was nothing I could do but stay where I was.

      Add a Yellow Box ASWELL?

      Perhaps, rather than have engineers ‘monitor’ the junction, you should have Engineers as passengers with vocational drivers, such as myself, drive through the junction over and over again, at different times of the day, every day of the week and from every direction into every direction and just wait for the accident to happen. Finally for the engineer to return back to the drawing board and say “Perhaps it would be better if we put a roundabout here, or maybe even a roundabout with traffic signals on.”

      Please help me to understand the logic of your decision, and realise that this is possibly one of the only junctions in existence that needs an instruction manual to be read before you can use it effectively and without collision.

      • Weymouth Transport Package Says:

        Hi Jon,

        Each new junction is monitored by our engineers (which includes using it) as they go live to ensure that they are working properly and to observe any difficulties drivers may be having.

        We realise that some drivers are having difficulty at Harbour Crossroads when trying to turn right and a minority are simply not adhering to the Highway Code. It is very difficult to improve driver behaviour issues without publishing information on how the junction works.

        As discussed previously on this blog, the roundabout had outgrown its capacity and adding lights to it would have caused more congestion (due to the size of the roundabout).

        As part of the transport package we have built the slip lane into the car park to help get vehicles out of Newstead Road while they enter Asda car park.

        Further to this, as part of the new store extension, the county council has worked with Asda’s management team to redesign the car park to improve the flow of traffic.

    • Jon Fells Says:

      I appreciate your recognition and reply to my comment, but I am no more enlightened.

      I’ve spent a little time over my past few days off work to drive through this junction and see if I can understand the thinking behind the planning. Part of me can understand what the intentions were of the designers; the other part of me feels that the designers could’ve spent more time with drivers before the plans were carried out.

      I’ve printed out the plans from the top of this screen and the other plans for the various corridors that your team has designed. I’ve shown the plans to a few other drivers that I work with and come in contact with. None of whom have been to Weymouth since the changes, but all have heard of the impact they seem to be having.

      I’ve stood beside the junction and watched how incredibly differently various drivers approach and navigate their way through it. The largest problem does seem to be where you have opposing traffic moving at the same time. On an average shaped crossroads this may not be such a problem, but this crossroads is far from normality. For starters, there’s far too much room for drivers to play with (Obviously because of the size of the RA that used to be there), there’s four different angles of approach (Although there has been an attempt to correct this, there has been no success) whereas an average crossroads will only have two angles, and, as previously mentioned, the traffic from ASDA car park needs a much longer filter lane (or Newstead road needs a wider entrance, which could’ve been achieved if there was no island to form the staggered crossing, or the pavement were to be moved in to the car park and a couple of parking spaces were sacrificed).

      As I said, I understand and am able to use this junction. I can navigate it, just, and I can use the lanes correctly. Not all drivers on the road have the same ability of driving and reading the road, and this is what is causing the upsets. The strangest thing I observed was watching drivers leave North Quay via the Right-Hand lane (as they should), but then going round the right of the small dividing island, only to head onwards into Newstead road, instead of heading down Westwey Road as one would assume they should.

      I know the Highway Code would say that you should give way to the right or when crossing the path of a vehicle which has right of way. When travelling from North Quay into Newstead one would assume that one has right of way over traffic travelling from Newstead Road to Boot Hill, but due to the angles of the junction it feels as if both would be considered a right turn.

      In your reply to my previous comment you wrote “It is very difficult to improve driver behaviour issues without publishing information on how the junction works. “ Apart from spelling behavior wrong, there’s a big mistake here. You can not publish information (Instructions) to every user of the junction. Putting it online just isn’t good enough.

      You need to understand and acknowledge that mistakes have been made here and an apology should be issued. While at the same time the situation to be resolved, maybe even by some simple signs or even road marking. I can help with this if you are struggling.

  18. Paul Says:

    Purhaps the cheapest and easiest solution would be to have a red right filter arrow. Then once the green “circle” straight-on arrows have had a phase, they then go red, and then a green right turn arrow shows for a short time. That way no-one is going to turn right across the path of other traffic!

  19. john boyd Says:

    It simply does not work and certainly not safe. I,m amazed that so much money has been wasted on such a bad piece of road design.

  20. David Says:

    “publishing information on how the junction works” who do we think we are? this is just Weymouth and I’m sure we can’t afford to issue to each traveller or holiday maker a flyer on this junction. Well, I suppose Weymouth would become more famous (I thought the Olympics would take care of this) for being the laughing stock. The guy who wrote Dear Jon just has to be taking the mickey. The double roundabout at Upton, Poole is a bit tricky but this junction is the worst in the UK and will have to be totally re-done.

  21. Matt Says:

    Further to my e-mail sent to the trasnport package about afew near misses and inclidents I have witnessed and been involved in they said:-

    “Thank you for your email, and I am sorry to read of the concerns you raise with regards Harbour Crossroads.

    For your information, if you have not already looked we have posted some useful advice on the phasing of the signals on our blog at http://www.weymouthtransportpackage.wordpress.com, under ‘Harbour Crossroads – you may have been wondering…’

    We will add your comments to our log, which we are keeping along with all concerns raised about the junction, and our engineers will look to address as many of them as they can. Unfortunately, it is still too early to suggest what changes can be made.”

    Further to this today whilst again driving through a green the car in front of me stopped and was giving priority to those turning right.

    The roads need signs and road markings, I would like to know how the decision was made for not having signs or markings, clearly a risk assessment was not carried out.

  22. Colin Dawe Says:

    The basic difficulty with the Harbour Crossroads is that they are not conventional crossroads because neither Westwey Road and Boot Hill nor North Quay and Newstead Road are in straight lines. Consequently visibility is very restricted.

    One major problem is the triangular island with the traffic light near the Fire Station entrance. It is situated too far towards Boot Hill. Yesterday during 20 minutes observation I witnessed two near misses.
    (1) A car from North Quay going ‘straight on’ into Newstead Road incorrectly went to the right of the triangular island and found itself on the right hand side of oncoming traffic turning right up Boot Hill. It was in the path of oncoming straight through traffic.
    (2) A car from North Quay turning right into Westwey Road incorrectly went to the left of the triangular island and found itself on the left hand side of oncoming traffic turning right up Boot Hill. As there was no way through it stopped. It the prevented the right turning traffic from Newstead Road going up Boot Hill. It also prevented the straight through traffic from North Quay going to Newstead Road.

    My original thoughts regarding the money made available by the Olympics could have been far better spent on extending the Weymouth Bypass from Chickerell to Ferrybridge. This would have left all our roundabouts intact and disruption would have been minimised.
    What a legacy the Olympics will be leaving us!

  23. Colin Dawe Says:

    As a follow up to my first email readers might like to know that the confusion for traffic from North Quay is that the right hand lane is for both cars turning right and cars going straight on. When drivers leave the lights they have only a few metres to decide which side of the triangular island to use. Normally when in doubt drivers righty follow the car in front. Doing this here can lead to disaster as you cannot assume that the driver in front intends using the same exit road as you.

  24. david Says:

    Waste of time blogging on this anymore I don’t think anyone in power drives there, just follow me by avoiding this area. (sorry ASDA but this will effect your custom but then you need to speak up). The Olympics is in Portland anyway so the best route will be via the roundabout after morrison’s. Could even be in danger of losing the Olympics if the committee find out about this joke.

  25. Tony Says:

    Your first death on this crossing is not far off. Come on, get it sorted, get the lanes and signs correct so we know how to get round it.

  26. Connie Says:

    There seems to be a problem with the phasing of the lights.

    Both yesterday and today whilst travelling north across the lights from Boot Hill, I had to wait on a green light as there was still traffic crossing from North Quay to Newstead Road.

    Neither of these cases were due to confusion over right turns and as one was a bus and one a lorry, one would assume as people who drive for a living, not drivers who would purposely drive across a red light?

    • Weymouth Transport Package Says:

      Hi Connie,

      Thank you for your comment, we’ll pass it on to our signal engineers so that they can investigate and make sure that the lights are working correctly.

  27. Stuart Morris Says:

    Now you know why all northbound traffic is directed through Lanehouse from Foords Corner.
    See the new signs there, quite illogical.

  28. John S Says:

    This morning whilst travelling down westwey road to go up Boot hill, I watched to my right as a car turned right into Newstead road from the right-turn lane. At the same time 3 cars came from Boot hill and all narrowly missed the right turner.
    A week ago, whilst attempting to turn right into Newstead road, cars from Boot hill passed me on both sides as I waited to turn right.
    It seems to me that a right-turn arrow is required here, and also for cars turning right out of North Quay. Question, why are there right-turn arrows on Newstead road and Boot hill, but not the other two directions?
    Failing this addition, why not sequence all 4 directions in turn, at least this will stop the “head-on” conflict.
    Sadly, there will be a major accident here very soon if “improvements” are not carried out.
    Failing this, why not turn the junction into a roundabout, oh………….

  29. Matt S Says:

    It`s scary to read how many people are having problems with this junction. Adding more road markings and signposts will add even more confusion to the people who are clearly useless behind the wheel. There are markings in the road clearly visable on approach to the junction so why add even more?

    As for people driving round the island incorrectly, go and buy the highway code and while you are out and about go and get some glasses so you can see the arrows on the road indicating which side to use.

    If everyone knew and stuck to the highway code you wouldn`t have anything to moan about.

  30. David Says:

    Hi John S, U-turns – never!!!

  31. john boyd Says:

    Can anybody explain to me when travelling up Boot hill there is a filter light into Wyke Road when the oncoming traffic are given a green light also.
    Traffic cannot pass on the inside as there is no room to do so.

    • Weymouth Transport Package Says:

      Hi John,

      We will pass your comment onto the signal engineers for them to investigate.

  32. Bob M Says:

    Inapropriate traffic scheme from the begining. Total waste of money.
    All three original roandabouts & the new Manor Roundabout should have been improved in the same way as Dorchester Tesco Roundabout. ie more & wider lanes, this works.
    Have look at http://www.highways.gov.uk/roads/projects/28368.aspx

    No Roundabouts ! Visitors beware..

    • Weymouth Transport Package Says:

      Hi Bob,

      There simply wasn’t enough room in Weymouth town centre to make the roundabouts any bigger. This is because of commercial and residential properties as well as the harbour.

  33. Stuart Morris Says:

    The roundabouts did not have to be enlarged to increase capacity. Westham Roundabout was rarely congested anyway, and signalisation of the Harbour roundabout would have resolved the Westwey Road queues – the only significant problem there.
    Signalised roundabouts are endorsed by DfT to increase capacity and are generally safer than complete traffic signal junctions.

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