Eelup Roundabout

  

Current Status

The traffic signals at Eelup Roundabout were switched on in the early hours of Monday 21 May 2012 - making Eelup the first signalised roundabout in Western Australia.

Transport Minister Troy Buswell announced the opening of the roundabout on Friday 18 May more than a month ahead of schedule. The project was built with minimal impact on traffic by contractor Fulton Hogan, which was an excellent achievement given that about 40,000 vehicles use the roundabout every day.

A significant improvement in safety and capacity is now expected at this key regional intersection with the installation of traffic signals and additional traffic lanes. The lanes have been added both inside the roundabout and on the roundabout legs to increase its capacity. The project also included the completion of the new slip lane for southbound traffic in October 2011 which allows motorists heading south to avoid entering the roundabout, therefore reducing delays.

We advise there will be some construction activity on the site for the next few weeks to finish off the works. We thank road users for their patience and understanding so far and urge everyone to take care when travelling through the site.

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Project Background

The Eelup Roundabout is located at the northern entrance to Bunbury and joins four major roads – the Australind Bypass which has 30,000 vehicles per day(vpd), Sandridge Road 20,000(vpd), Robertson Drive 15,000(vpd) and Koombana Drive 13,000(vpd).

The Eelup Roundabout has the State’s worst crash rate with over 650 recorded crashes in the past five years and this has been the main driver for proceeding with a major upgrade.

While there have been no fatalities, these crashes have cost the community an estimated $11m, not including resultant delays and also the cost of unreported accidents.  The roundabout is also having capacity problems, as can be seen by the long queues that form on the major roads during peak hours.

 

Why signals were chosen for the roundabout

Main Roads extensively investigated many alternative layouts over several years to establish the best solution to address the roundabout's safety and capacity problems. This work has led to the adoption of a layout that includes a flyover for traffic entering the Bunbury CBD along the Australind Bypass, with a large roundabout underneath as the preferred option.

This option was chosen giving consideration to traffic benefits, cost, use of the existing Preston River bridges, impact on existing development, traffic disruption during construction and the potential for staged development.

The signalisation of the roundabout proposed for the first stage, is an innovative approach and a first for Western Australia.  The signalisation of large roundabouts like Eelup is very common in the United Kingdom where the treatment has proven to reduce crashes and improve capacity.

Other first stage options such as a conventional four-way signalised intersection and smaller roundabout were dismissed because; they did not fit with the longer term flyover, would be more expensive to construct and would not address the traffic and safety issues as well as the signalised roundabout.

Traffic modelling of the signalised roundabout that we have carried out, has shown that this treatment would increase vehicle capacity by about 40 per cent, which will reduce the long queues that form in peak hours and provide sufficient capacity for the next 10 years, assuming normal traffic growth.

Construction of the ultimate flyover will depend on traffic growth and other variables, such as residential growth, and construction of the Bunbury Outer Ring Road and further stages of the Port Access Road.

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Community Benefits

The signalised roundabout will provide the following benefits:

  • A significant reduction in the crash rate, with figures from the United Kingdom showing that an average 28% reduction in crashes can be expected.  As Eelup has an abnormally high crash rate for a roundabout, it may result in an even better safety outcome.
  • A significant increase in capacity and reduced congestion on existing roundabout legs.
  • Trucks will find it easier and safer to enter the roundabout.
  • The signalised roundabout will have lower average delays than the more conventional four-way signalised intersection during peak hours.
  • Enhanced landscaping of the roundabout and surrounds to improve the appearance of this important entry into the City.
  • Improved facilities for cyclists and pedestrians, including new paths and a footbridge that will enable them to move more safely through the site.

The signalised roundabout will have lower average delays than the more conventional four-way signalised intersection during peak hours.

 

How the roundabout will operate

The traffic signals on the roundabout will be operational 24 hours a day.

Main Roads has developed a Project Information Sheet (1 page PDF 126 KB) with diagrams to assist you with using this new signalised roundabout. We encourage you to take the time to study this so that you understand how the lanes work. The document contains diagrams and a series of questions and answers to assist you. A traffic simulation model of the signals in operation (WMV 7 MB) is also provided. The model shows the current morning peak with 35% more vehicles added.

It is most important that drivers select the current lane before entering the roundabout to avoid having to change lanes once inside. People travelling from Robertson Drive (traffic from the direction of Busselton) will no longer be restricted to the one right lane to exit to Perth as there are now two lanes available for Perth traffic.

As shown in the information sheet, there are four sets of signals - one set for each of the four approaches - which will be coordinated to maximise the efficiency of traffic flowing through the roundabout.

The signals will operate in two short phases so that vehicles will only be stopped for short periods compared with normal traffic signals.

  • When the signals are green at Robertson Drive and Koombana Drive, signals on Australind Bypass and Sandridge Road will be red.
  • When the signals are green at the both Australind Bypass and Sandridge Road, signals on Robertson Drive and Koombana Drive will be red.

A special traffic signal phase has been designed for the very high volumes that occur when people travel back to Perth after long weekends. This phase will increase the flow of traffic from Robertson Drive to Australind Bypass. Closed Circuit TV cameras have been installed and are connected to Main Roads' Traffic Operations Centre in Perth, where the signals will be monitored and adjusted when required.

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Road Rules for the roundabout

We wish to advise road users and the community about road rules for the newly signalised Eelup Roundabout.

WA Police has advised that roundabout rules no longer apply because the new traffic signals have taken over control of all movements through the site.

Road users must now indicate the same as they would when driving a normal signalised intersection. In practical terms this means that drivers should only indicate:

  • When changing lanes.
  • When turning left from the approach legs.
  • When turning right within the modified roundabout in accordance with the arrow markings on the road.

There is no longer any need to indicate left when exiting the roundabout.

In deciding how long they should indicate, drivers should take note of Regulation 37 of the Road Traffic Code which requires that "a driver shall give a signal to turn right or left for long enough to give sufficient warning to other drivers and pedestrians".

 

Further Information

 

We welcome community queries about the project, please contact:

Community Relations Manager
Carolyn Walker
Phone: (08) 9450 1445 (8.00 am to 6.00 pm only)
After hours: 138 138
Email: carolyn.walker@mainroads.wa.gov.au

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Modified: 28 Jul 2015