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Grand Harbour Roundabout Traffic Metering

The National Roads Authority (NRA) will launch a traffic signal metering system in South Sound near Old Crewe Road, with the aim of easing traffic congestion on the Linford Pierson Highway during the evening peak periods.

The scheme is designed to regulate traffic flow at the Grand Harbour Roundabout, particularly during the evening rush-hour for commuters travelling east.

Since its construction in 2003, the Grand Harbour Roundabout has experienced significant traffic flow movements. NRA traffic counters recorded upwards of 40,000 vehicle trips per weekday along the main highway by Grand Harbour Development in 2018. During that same year, an average of 4,821 vehicles was recorded travelling eastbound through the Grand Harbour Roundabout in and around the 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. window.

The increased evening traffic is presenting the NRA with a new challenge. At present, motorists travelling east from single lane South Sound Road onto the roundabout have priority over motorists using the two eastbound travel lanes on Crewe Road. This forces them to give way to the right, creating traffic queues extending back onto Linford Pierson Highway.

Because the resulting tailbacks cause delays to commuters on the main carriageway, the NRA will install a metering system on South Sound Road, which will control the flow of traffic on this artery. This will enable an increased movement of traffic from the dual carriageway on Crewe Road onto the roundabout.

“The traffic meter is going to allow gaps in the eastbound evening peak traffic flow on South Sound Road, that will in turn cause eastbound traffic on the main artery to flow through Grand Harbour Roundabout much faster,” says Acting Managing Director at the NRA, Ed Howard.

South Sound itself experiences significant spillbacks during weekdays. However, AMD Howard notes that the congestion of South Sound Road is also partly caused by motorists using Old Crewe Road as a cut-through road during the evening peak. Motorists using Old Crewe Road as a shortcut will now also have to adhere to the new signal.

The traffic signal meter is expected to go live by Monday 19 August 19, 2019. The NRA notes that this is an interim solution, before more detailed plans for traffic relief in this area. The new metering signal will be placed further back from the roundabout and will include advance warning signs, a cantilevered signal head over the travel lane, and a painted stop bar designation in which motorists are required to stop.

The new signal will activate on weekdays (Monday through Friday) during the evening peak hours only. The signal will cycle drivers through at intervals of 10 to 12 seconds. An illuminated red ball will signify that drivers are required to come to a complete stop. An amber ball signifies that motorists proceed with caution.

Such metering signals are quite common in the UK, Australia and U.S.A where they are used in various situations, including at roundabouts, and for regulating traffic joining the motorways at congested periods.

The NRA would like to thank motorists for their vigilance in observing and respecting the new metering system. The aim of this project is to ensure the Grand Harbour Roundabout will work more effectively, by restoring traffic flow priority to the major artery.

The new signal pole on South Sound Road will also soon feature the installation of the first set of electronic vehicle registration (EVR) detection devices designed to read the new drivers registration stickers and plates.

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