The new link road onto Weymouth’s Lanehouse Rocks Road is likely to become a short cut for drivers making their way between the town and Portland.

Councillors say it is inevitable that many will turn into the first phase of the Curtis Fields development on Chickerell Road and come out on the new junction at Lanehouse to avoid traffic lights and busy junctions. Drivers in the opposite direction are expected to also use the estate roads at peak times.

But their short cut may be slower than anticipated: the 500-home Curtis Fields roads are being designed to slow traffic down to 20mph, or lower.

Plans to make traffic coming out of the estate at Lanehouse take only a left turn are now likely to be abandoned.

Borough council planners decided drivers would either cheat and turn right down the hill, or turn left and then make a U-turn at the next junction, adding to congestion. It was also felt unlikely the police would ever have the resources to enforce the no right turn.

Cllr Christine James, a driving instructor, said the average competent driver should be able to cope with the right turn down the hill and that oncoming traffic would soon learn that there might be cars turning across their path.

The left-turn only had been requested by Westham West Cllr Gill Taylor, supported by others, who felt the junction would be too dangerous, on the steep hill, to allow drivers to turn in either direction.

Planning officers have now been delegated to go back to the developers, Betterment Properties, and come up with a junction design for Lanehouse Rocks Road and also to agree the details of the ‘spine’ road which will run from the junction to the other estate main entrance on Chickerell Road. The new junction is expected to have pedestrian ‘refuge’ areas either side of it so walkers do not have to cross the entire road in one go.

“This road will become a rat-run as drivers seek to avoid the congestion at the bottom end of the road near the Granby,” claimed Cllr Richard Nickinson.

He said that if the junction did not allow drivers to turn either way, those who obeyed the law and took the left turn would only cause congestion by trying to turn around at the next junction, which was on a sharp bend, while those happy to break the law would just chance a right turn.

“By restricting it just to a left turn we are likely to create more problems than we solve,” he said.

Cllrs Ian Bruce and Kevin Brookes both said they were happy for driver to try and cut through the estate, if they chose to, but Highway Officer Colin Graham, said the estate roads were being designed to keep traffic speeds to 20mph, or below, by using pinch points and raised areas to slow traffic down. He said from his highway safety view he could see no major problems with allowing traffic to turn both ways out of the new junction – claiming that those who might want to turn right were likely to only be a small number with most choosing to drive to the Chickerell Road junction.

Backing the either way turn Cllr Brookes told the committee: “We seem to be constantly trying to design out people’s bad behaviour. Talk to people on Portland – they don’t seem to have too much trouble turning right down a hill.”

Cllr James said she believed there would be enough visibility and time for drivers to safely use the new junction, in either direction. She suggested that a ‘slow’ sign on the road and warning triangle about the junction ought to be enough to alert drivers to the potential for people turning onto Lanehouse Rocks Road.