Crawler lane


Ridgeway crawler lane (large version)

We have received a few comments about the relief road crawler lane and have been asked how it should be used during peak times, when the volume of traffic merging from two lanes into one leads to some short delays.

The Highway Code advises that where crawler lanes are provided, these should be used by slower-moving vehicles so that vehicles behind wishing to overtake can do so, and that drivers should be aware of signage and road markings which indicate when the lane is about to end.

It also advises that where a right-hand lane is used for overtaking, after completing the manoeuvre, drivers should move back to the left-hand lane as soon as it is safe to do so.

Some drivers may be finding that after overtaking they are confronted with queuing traffic in the left-hand lane, and it is therefore unsafe for them to merge until the natural end of the crawler lane.

We appreciate that some drivers may be using the overtaking lane to avoid queuing, however, this is not a road traffic offence unless the driver is driving without due care and attention or in a dangerous manner.

We will continue to monitor this situation, to see if any additional road marking or signing is required.


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13 Responses to “Crawler lane”

  1. Dave Says:

    This may sound strange but when the outside lane users get to the end and merge they do in fact slow down the inside lane and vice versa.
    Remove the tension this creates simply by having both lanes running at the same speed. Surely there is a way this can be done.

  2. Chris Says:

    In the rest of the EU, vehicles are encouraged to use both lanes to their full and zip-merge (one after the other), actually producing a shorter queue time, making better use of the road space therefore reducing congestion at the origin.

    In the UK it is seen as rude to make use of a lane designed for such purposes, therefore become quite frustrated when someone actually uses the lane and results to stupid maneuvers, putting other drivers at risk and causing further congestion elsewhere.

    The problem with traffic levels on the Relief Road isn’t the merge in turn, it’s purely the amount of traffic destined for a single carriageway. If people aren’t going to use the second lane responsibly, then the effectiveness of the road is reduced back to when it wasn’t even there.

  3. Dave Says:

    @Matt B
    Do you really think that blocking an available lane is good road behaivour? Do you *really* think it’s condusive to free flowing traffic to block a perfectly good lane? This morning the traffic was queued back to the Littlemoor roundabout – SPECIFICALLY BECAUSE OF PEOPLE LIKE YOU! There are 2 lanes for a reason! You should use them. If you are tired of people overtaking you, maybe you should USE THE OTHER LANE!!!

    The Highway code even states to use all available lanes until they end. If I see you doing this, I *will* report your vehicle to BT.

  4. Dave Says:

    So far so good. When is the A354 from Dorchester to the relief road going to be resurfaced?
    Where are the queues likly signs going to go?

    • Weymouth Relief Road Says:

      Hi Dave,

      The remaining section of the A354 from Stadium Roundabout to the relief road is programmed to be surfaced in September.

      We are continually monitoring the new road as the remaining elements are completed.

      Once the whole scheme is finished we will be able to judge what additional signing may be needed.

  5. Liam Deeney Says:

    Why not just make the road two lanes to Dorchester….. like everyone suggested…. Too simple? Too helpfull? Too usefull?

  6. Martin Hill Says:

    On a separate issue why was there one-way traffic today controlled by lights? It was on the southern section and caused long delays. It appeared that a new road sign was being erected.

  7. Max Jack Says:

    Your e-mail outlines the Highway Code definition regarding the crawler lane. However, no solution to the problem where the traffic often comes to a halt at the Ridgeway followed by the slow crawl on the single lane the mile or two into Dorchester. This was an anticipated bottleneck and I fear for the traffic flow in the summer period and the chaos in 2012. Must mention though that it is a fantastic road and a job well done by Skanska and Highway Committee etc. A road built to communicate Weymouth and Dorchester should have large signs at roundabout access/junctions saying “Dorchester” and “Weymouth” with arrows. Road numbers insufficient, not just for me!

  8. Matt B Says:

    Hello, I am a worker for BT who drives one of the Pole Erection Units and I’ve been getting sick and fed up of sitting on the left hand lane (Crawler Lane) whilst impatient drivers go past in the right hand lane and ram their way into the line. I’ve taken it upon myself to sit in the outside lane behind whatever vehicle is in front when I get to the queue and I stop all cars using the outside lane to jump the queues. I know having a 14 tonne lorry helps stop them getting by, but I urge everyone to do the same. Its a joke that they overtake to skip the queues and it slows everyone in the inner lane up because the cars keep cutting in. Whether its a legal practice or not, I’d love to know, but I shall carry on doing it either way.

  9. David Says:

    I do tend to agree; the cycleways/footpaths are not always clearly marked in Weymouth – yet. However, if they were clearly marked as ‘shared use’ and people followed the segregation, which seldom happens, then there should strictly be no need for cyclists to have to give way. An old arguement, which will probably never be resolved in this country. I firmly believe all cyclists should have to have a bell by law and lights for that matter.

  10. Malcolm Beeson Says:

    ‘Merge in turn’ is getting common in other places now. Let’s use it here.

    I am concerned about the signage painted on the footpaths. If they have any sign it is always a cycle symbol. Yet these are SHARED footpaths and cycleways. The ‘bike’ symbol will lead to cyclists treating it as their own. Please label them as ‘shared use’ and ask cyclists to give way to pedestrians, who may not always be aware of cyclists approaching from behind.

    • Weymouth Relief Road Says:

      Hi Malcolm,

      The cycleway/footways are all shared and unsegregated, this is indicated by the blue vertical signage showing the cyclist and pedestrian.

      I’ve passed your comments to our engineers and they will be looking into the use of the cycle symbol markings that have been used on the tarmac in some areas.

  11. Andrew Knowles Says:

    Why not have ‘merge in turn’ signage where the crawler lane ends? This helps relieve the notion that people are ‘pushing in’.

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