DRINKERS, crabbers and families will no longer be able to sit on Weymouth's harbour walls at Custom House Quay from next week, as a barrier is to be put in place.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has 'advised' Dorset Council to put a 250-metre long barrier in place amid concerns about people being injured.

The barrier will be in place permanently along the harbour’s edge between Town Bridge and the fish loading area - the main stretch of the harbour that is frequented by drinkers.

Work will start after the bank holiday on Tuesday April 6 and take around four weeks to be finished.

It will be a mixture of metal 'key-clamp' railings and 'post and chain' type barriers, which the council said will ensure flexibility for harbour users accessing boats.

Dorset Echo: Two different kinds of railings will be used along the harbourTwo different kinds of railings will be used along the harbour

The arrangement will be monitored, with any necessary changes being made in the autumn.

Cllr Ray Bryan, portfolio holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, said: “We’ve been working closely with Weymouth Harbour Master on the installation of these safety railings.

“With the ever-increasing attraction of the harbour area, we needed to address the risk of injury to people by falling into the deep harbour water, or on to one of the pontoons.

“The initial materials are an interim measure as we work with the harbour users to determine what permanent solution may work best.”

Sections of pavement will be closed in the works area and move as it progresses along the harbour. The road will remain open throughout the work.

A council spokesman added: "The option for railings along Custom House Quay did not form part of the recent harbourside survey as this is an independent piece of safety work.

"Although the installation of railings has not been discussed with the wider public, discussions have taken place with various stakeholders within the Custom House Quay area."

It follows a tragic incident last June when a man fell from the wall and died.

An eyewitness told how people, including local fishermen, ran to help after the man fell from the quay wall.

Dorset Echo: A man sadly died after falling off the harbour wall last summerA man sadly died after falling off the harbour wall last summer

He hit a metal pontoon, suffering a serious head injury, and went into the water. It is understood he was caught between the pontoon and the harbour wall.

The man was pulled from the harbour unconscious and attempts were made to revive him.

It prompted a major response from the emergency services who raced to Custom House Quay near the Town Bridge.

Sadly, the man could not be saved and died at the scene.