Speed limit review looks likely to go before States next year

RECOMMENDATIONS on island speed limits are expected to go before the States next year, Environment has said.

Speed limit sign

RECOMMENDATIONS on island speed limits are expected to go before the States next year, Environment has said.

The department has confirmed that it is well advanced with a project to review limits.

And as part of the discussions, it said the working group had looked at the use of vehicle-activated warning signs similar to the type installed around St Sampson’s High School. The announcement follows comments by traffic sergeant John Tostevin, who said he would like to see the signs placed around all the islands schools.

‘It would be practical to install this type of signage on the approaches to many schools adjoining major roads but it is clear that the widespread use of this type of sign would have significant budgetary implications for the department,’ said a spokesman.

Comments for: "Speed limit review looks likely to go before States next year"


A good read.The 2010 traffic review notes ...



I was under the impression that some of this is out of date now? I thought they'd decided the electronic signs to change depending on times had been ruled out? I also thought that the 20 mph on most roads had been ruled out (rightly so) as nobody would be willing to drive that slowly?

A Driver / Pedestrian

If there is a collective desire to deploy these devices sensitively in appropriate locations, does anybody know if the proceeds of fines from traffic related offences could be used to fund the installation and operating costs?


I presume all fines just disappear into the great melting pot of States coffers

It would be a good idea to ring fence traffic fines for funding traffic improvements though even if it was just for a set period of 2 - 3 years


Recession what recession? Now what can we spend our taxpayers money on next?, when the money runs out it will stop & no they won't have seen it coming.


Why on earth does the island speed limits require a review?

Sorry, but a review implies that there is some problem with the existing speeds.

if its to target speeders, then changing speed limits will make NO difference as they already break the law.

This is yet another example of yet another STUPID states waste of cash!


When roads like the Bassiers and the Rohais are 25mph and thin lanes attached to them like Pont Valliant and the Foulon are 35mph, I'd definitely say there is a need for a speed limit review. I've no idea why the Bassiers and the Ozouets are still 25 now that the school has gone. I know the CFE have now moved in but the main campus is 35.

Also we now have to drive slowly within a 1 mile radius of St Sampson's schools (and get overtaken by cycles) but increase speed for Haute Capelles, what's that all about?


Completely agree.

I live along Pont Valliant and some people drive along there like absolute idiots. Yes it is a 35 but that does not mean you should attempt that speed down there but drive to the conditions of the road.

I mentioned this to a chap in traffic department who dismissed it as not a problem even though the Bassiers is 25mph. I give up.


Major roads 30

All others 20 max

Make more one ways to create better

footpaths and possible shared cycle ways


B*gger off and live in Herm or Sark. Are you seriously suggesting you can't handle 35 mph? Tip: give up driving.


Well said sl. I'm sure the people who want the speeds reduced either don't drive or cant drive safely enough at the current limits.


All drivers who are not able to drive up to the available speed limit (driving at 15MPH in a 35MPH road) should be removed from the road to help traffic flow, cycle riders not using the cycle path should be fined, being stuck behind a cycle not being able to overtake because the road is too narrow due to a unused cycle path (wider than the road) is crazy, so please no more cycle paths.


'..cycle riders not using the cycle path should be fined..'

'..please no more cycle paths.'

Congratulations Backchat on the most contradictory (or darnright stupid!) post of the year.


Only common sense really, if something is provided & not used then traffic is held up as a result, sorry I don't get your point


Which particular cycle path do you refer to in this post?


The one that runs from St Sampsons to town, just to clarify I don't wish it removed or have anything against it but surely if its there you can't have cycles riding for half a mile off it


Thanks for clarifying but let me inform you that a) the cycle lane is much better used that you might think and b) cyclists have every much right as you do to use the road instead if they so wish.

IMO we need more cycle lanes and in particular more cyclist contraflow lanes in roads that are one way for motorised traffic like the one at Baubigny.


Sorry but how are you qualified to inform me of anything?


Martino. I agree 100%


About as qualified as you.

Point a) is an observation from some who actually cycles the lane and knows about cycling.

Point b) is a fact of law. Cyclists have every right to use the road even where a cycle lane exists.


It comes down to why can a cyclist use the cycle lane without being booked.

When if I were to drive my car on the cycle lane, im sure i would be stopped by the police fairly promptly



It seems you saying that I never cycle along that lane & know nothing about cycling without even knowing me, that would make it appear that you are biased toward the cyclist, I'm not biased either way & certainly won't have your opinion pushed onto me


Er, I AM biased towards cyclists!


Thanks thats my point!


Backchat, thanks for the clarification on this path. As Martino points out, even though there is a cycle path along Les Banques cyclists are still entitled to use the road (as was pointed out to me by the Police when I had been seriously verbally abused and threatened by a motorist who followed me cycling in the road through Baubigny towards Oatlands... which is where you should be when cycling in this direction but is not understood by many motorists)

As has been pointed out the cycle path is well used and the reason that some cyclists choose not to use it, at times, is because if you are planning to cross to Admiral Park or call in anywhere on the way, e.g. Victor Hugo's or the Co-op it takes forever to be let across the road.



Thanks for explaining this problem for cyclists, maybe when the road was redesigned this should have been sorted & a cycle path put on the other side too, the road was wide enough for this to have been carried out

Just for the record I treat cyclists & motorcyclists with respect when I do drive a car on the road, having seen the way some cars have cut cyclists up when overtaking only reminds me how important it is for a car to keep a safe distance when overtaking


Has no one noticed that there is a Toucan Crossing at Admiral Park?


I say ban all vehicles and revert back to horse, carriage and poop scoop :-)


Next boat to Sark at 1500, you'll love it there.

Local Resident

Why can't they adopt a sensible system like in Australia where the speed limits around the schools during school arrival, departure and lunch times are limited to 20mph or less and at all other times are 30mph or 35mph (whichever is safer for the road depending on its width and number of bends etc).

Please can someone explain Why it is nessecary to have to drive at 20mph through a long road at 10pm at night for example when there are absolutely no children about? This system works very well in other countries and helps keep traffic moving when it gets to work finishing time at 5pm for example.

ANSWER: Because it would be harder to police and the states want us to have to drive around so slowly it would be quicker for us to walk so we don't bother!! - Any other thoughts on this one?


Have you read the link that Ray provided in the first post on this subject? In it you will see that your idea is one that is suggested.


Agree on variable speed limits near schools. They shouldn't cost much as the Amber Flashers are already installed at most sites. They just need programming better, i.e. not flashing in school holidays.


All this rubbish about dropping speed limits when we should be doing the opposite. Or better still just leave it all alone. There's nothing wrong with the current system so stop wasting tax payers money.


I may have missed it but the report does not reveal recommendations for roads without pavements. Surely if any road has no safe path for pedestrians then it should have the minimum speed limit imposed on it. An example is The Coutanchez, one of the major arterial routes into town, has several blind bends, numerous blind access to properties and no pavement yet it has a 35 mph limit. Any one who uses the road regularly would have witnessed the perilous experience of walking or cycling.


Paul. A quick read of the report leads me to thinking that this is exactly the sort of situation that needs attention.

The suggestion is that all roads would be 20mph unless marked otherwise. This would then mean that all the narrower roads, country lanes etc would automatically be the 20mph without the need to signpost them all as such, while the larger arterial and straighter roads could have speed signs advising a faster speed limit as is the case now. In some areas they are even considering a 40mph limit.

You rightly point out that cycling or walking on roads like The Coutanchez is dangerous. This is given as one of the reasons for the need to rationalise the present speed limit.


Rosie, I hope you are right in your assumptions. However using the Coutanchez as an example, the report suggests that this road needs no attention as the 'checks' show that the vast majority average below their 85% rule. This is probably due to the blind corners slowing traffic. We have all seen the UK ads outlining the increased risk of death for every 1mph above 20 mph. I sincerely hope the report specifically outlines the recommendations for roads without pavements.


I think this paragraph of the report says it all really

"It is considered that the majority of motorists travel around the Island at speeds they consider feel safe and appropriate as opposed to paying significant attention to the limits unless they are heavily enforced."

Have strictly enforced limits past schools, the hospital etc. where the most vulnerable road users are and set everything else to a more reasonable 40 mph (about the upper average speed recorded in the report). Also penalise drivers who have an accident more harshly if excessive speed (note, not speeding) was a major contributory factor. Enforce the 40mph limit to deal with the 'boy racers' that everyone is concerned about.

It's interesting how things have changed since the report was written - e.g. "As regards enforcement, it was noted that the Police were unlikely to introduce speed cameras and had few resources available to carry out ad-hoc speed checks because of reprioritisation of officers elsewhere within the force to the detriment of the Traffic Section." I think this Summer has demonstrated that is no longer the case!

Castel Charlie

The comments are above are pretty entertaining but a little wide of the mark in a number of cases.

Personally, I feel that the speed limit on the main roads seems to work. To a dgree the same can be said for minor roads, but in built up areas they need to be rationalised and reduced in a number of case, for the safety of other road users and pedestrians.

Specifically regarding the schools, why not just set a low speed limit near them all, regardless of the time of day or year. There is no real reason why having to drive slowly for a short stretch of road should be too difficult or costly for anyone and it would be a lot cheaper than electronic signs.

I am tired of hearing people whine about their rights or the fact that the States shouldn't be dictating things like this. If everyone could sensibly handle the speed on our roads then there would be no road accidents, but as the evidence shows that this is not the case then the States need to come up with an effective plan.

Many other islands operate lower speed limits than Guernsey and it works just fine. Speeders will still ignore the rules to suit themselves but they should man-up and just accept their punishment if caught, rather than subjecting us to even more whining.


The computer in my car tells me that

(a)My daily 'average' speed is 16mph, hence-

(b) My fuel consumption is 32 to 35 mpg,whilst-

(c) On the Mainland, my car's

average speed was 52mph and fuel consumption up to 59mpg

The thought behind these figures?

More polution per mile,the slower we drive.


Yes so true best post on here & the more petrol sold the more tax they get from us!


You could be cycling faster than that. Time to get on your bike?

No fuel consumption, no pollution and the cheapest option of all.


You should try driving my car, the MPG figures would give you a heart attack!

Anyway, the issue here is actually you drive so many short journeys that your engine doesn't spend much time fully warmed up and running efficiently.

If you want to be efficient and get good MPG, buy a small scooter/motorbike. You should be able to get 100mpg+ from a little 125. Plus of course they're easier to park, can manoeuvere around traffic and are much cheaper to insure.

Kyle Anderson

I like the signage idea I just think that the cost isn't worth it. You can get other signage to do the same job for less money.

Kyle Anderson



And your average miles covered per day is? And your average monthly fuel bill is? Now do a fair comparison on the UK.


If only the children that walk to school or need to cycle could have a voice in this debate. They are the ones who are risk.

The pavement to Capelles Primary School is constantly used as part of the road, even when small children are walking to school.

When visitors from the UK come over to Guernsey they are absolutely mortified at the driving standards over here.

This shouldn't be about price of petrol - this should be about safety and encouraging safe places to walk.



Every time I read a complaint about island driving standards from a visitor I think to myself 'there goes someone who is so used to 15-20 foot wide carriageways that they can't grasp the notion that a 6 inch clearance in Guernsey is considered the norm .. if not a luxury'

They are bound to be nervous.They don't know their way anywhere,they don't know all the area speed limits, they may be in an unfamiliar Hire car with severe monetary penalties for the most minor scratch or wheel scuff,they certainly aren't used to having to nip into someone's gateway in our lanes

If there was a don't EVER mount the pavement policy the island would grind to a halt.It just has to be done with great care and in the knowledge that pedestrians (and Martino) have first dibs on pavements


Regarding having to mount the pavement, the States by buying & allowing oversized buses to operate have increased the need to mount the pavement by a huge amount


The fact that we have little room is never going to be solved - its the fact that drivers don't slow down and consider the pavement with children walking on it as a acceptable thing to do is what shocks me and others.



I agree with you totally. The negative effects on pedestrians & cyclists is given in the report as one of the main reasons for re-looking at road speeds. Cars driving by too fast and too close is a main disincentive to people walking or cycling or allowing their children to. That's not sensible when we should be looking to increase the amount of journeys made on foot or bicycle for health, financial and environmental reasons.

Most of us drive at some point and cars are great for some journeys. But they should not be allowed to dominate the road to the point that they intimidate all other perfectly legitimate road users. Encouraging our children to grow up with the healthy habit of cycling and walking whenever possible will benefit not just them, but the whole island. Creating a safe environment on our roads for that to happen is what we should all be wanting.

Having said all that, this report is not about reducing speeds on all the main roads but about looking at the anomalies that exist between roads that are appropriate for faster speeds and those that clearly are not suited and where fast traffic creates a problem such as described above.


There is also something else that could be a significant aid to traffic movement.

Build a third lane along the front, its certainly wide enough for it.

Between 730 and 10am its 2 lanes of traffic towards town and vice versa between 4 and 6pm.

This is firmly established in Bermuda where similar sized roads and traffic flow is a problem.

On yeah and in Bermuda they continue to be able to buy island sized buses, not the green horrors that we have over here. Mann is the name of them i believe.



Good idea but how would you cater for the narrow bottlenecks near Salerie Corner,Piette Hotel and Red Lion?


bob. If there was room along the front for another lane, it would be better used for some sort of shuttle bus or tram to nip back and forth unhindered by the traffic, between St Sampsons, Admiral Park and town. Make it cheap as chips to use and that could have a really positive effect on reducing traffic along there.



Your tram would only be useful for those who live on or close to that route

Not much use to commuters who live anywhere North of Braye Road


Anyone know why the temporary narrowing bollards between the largely redundant bus garage and the Red Lion roundabout are still there? Removing these would certainly help with congestion.


I'm with Rosie on this one and if we needed any further evidence that it is in all our interests to CYCLE more and WALK more (which doesn't mean abandoning our cars totally) then this is it!



I agree Martino. Anti-car zealotry is counter productive, all that's needed is some common sense.

I walk or cycle to work probably 90% of the time. It probably adds a maximum of 30 minutes a day to my commute time (no big deal) and I arrive feeling a lot more relaxed than if I had driven. It's also miles cheaper and helps me maintain a level of basic fitness.....oh, and when it's tipping it down I get a free shower, which delights Mrs PLP no end!

Terry Langlois

is your wife called Paul as well??



Own up,there is only one car in the family and Mrs P has claimed first dibs on it


You've busted me Ray. Yes we are a one car family and yes Mrs P gets first dibs on it.

We used to be a two car family but decided it wasn't worth the costs buying, insuring, maintaining and fuelling a second car only for it to sit in a car park all day whilst I'm at work....especially when work is but a 30 minute walk away.

I'm sure there must be other islanders in a similar position who could save a fortune, reduce island traffic and get the health benefits if they did a similar thing.


All this talk about speed limits around schools makes me so cross, is it too much to ask motorists to slow down around schools, more signs should be put up to make you aware of a school in the vicinity.

As for putting the speed limit back to normal when school is closed is just plain daft,how on earth is Mrs. Le Page with no young children in her family, any idea when the school is closed. I have grandchildren at a primary school but I lose track of the holidays.

Do people really race around the island but when their memory is jolted it is a teachers training day at Castel school, they think oh yipee 35mph, I think not, does not common sense prevail.

Dave Haslam

Lose the salerie!! Make the first third of North Beach a bike park and the rest 2 hour.

Rental contracts changed to have massive charges for car parking facilities.

Traffic problems solved!

Unless you do the school run, in the trades or have severe health issues, there is no reason why you cant ride a bicycle. If you are too lazy to cycle, then get a scooter!!Seriously, this cosseted over reliance we have on 4 wheels is ridiculous really on an island this size. But whats worse is the sheer arrogance/ ignorance of most car drivers towards anyone who has the temerity to try another form of transport.

I have made the full time change from 4 to 2 wheels. I cycle most days, and have bought a scooter for other days, its freed up 45 minutes of every day in saved commuting time, saving me at least £30 a week in petrol, and keeping me fit to boot. Plus its fun cycling past all if the stationary vehicles stuck in traffic jams.


Yes there are some bad motorists out there but there are also bad cyclists who don't care a hoot for pedestrians and could not give a toss about the rules of the road.

Terry Langlois

ironic that some people get irate about cyclists NOT using the cylce path from Bridge to Town (which puts cyclists in close proximity with pedestrians) and also accuse them of not caring a hoot for pedestrians.

I tend to avoid that cycle path for that reason unless the traffic is backed up along Les Banques. Generally I would rather be in the road where I belong, moving with the relatively predictable traffic, rather than on a pavement with vunerable and unpredictable pedestrians.

Yes, there are cyclists that break the rules of the road and Guernsey has more than its fair share of people on bikes without lights etc. But they are never going to seriously hurt anyone other than themselves. On the other hand, there are many motorists who drive dangerously, makes calls, send texts, or do not give a toss about the rules of the road, and they are a grave danger to many vulnerable road users - pedestrians, horses, cyclists and motorcyclists included.

Dave Haslam


True, which is why offences for cyclists should be taken more seriously.

That said, its very rare that a cyclist acting like an idiot endangers anyones life except his own, personally I dont choose the cycle in that manner as I value my life. However idiot car drivers do put other peoples lives in jeapordy, which I think is a key distinction.


Dave / Terry

I don't disagree that motorists by virtue of their mode of transport do pose the greatest danger, that it is why it is unfathomable to me why some cyclists take the risks that they do. I am not excusing bad driving but for Dave to say that most car drivers are arrogant and ignorant is wide of the mark.

There are some arrogant and ignorant drivers over here and there are also some arrogant and ignorant cyclists who seem to place themselves in unnecessary danger.

Ray - not sure on your point here. I am not trying to equate bad driving with a particular time of day. If you are suggesting that by driving 'off peak' is more enjoyable than I dare say you should check your mirror to see if there is a long queue of cars behind you.

Terry Langlois

Dave - maybe this is not true of your comments, but most of the complaints that you see on these pages about (some) cyclists are not about whether they are putting themselves in danger but more along the lines of "why can't they get out of my way, they've held me up for 10 seconds and I have a greater right to the road than they do..."

the simple fact is that we all have a right to use the road, we all need a bit of give and take, we all need some basic courtesy, none of us should endanger anyone else, none of us should inconvenience others any more than is absolutely necessary.

most cyclists are drivers anyway, so this "them and us" attitude is misplaced.


Yes Dave ... and after you and the thousands of commuters are nicely holed up in your offices for the day it's fun to drive on quite free roadways

It's now just gone 1pm. I need to get to Cobo. I'll be there by 1.15pm. People who spend their days in offices only ever see the morning and evening gridlock and can only relate their comments to those times

Bunk off for an hour mid afternoon and see the difference


Dave @ 6.52pm

Sorry.Too many Daves. That was meant for Dave Haslam ( and any other moaner who only sees the traffic congestion before nine and after 5 on the way in or out of Town

PS I drive 'off peak' because I don't have to commute, not because I wear a flat cap


Ray: Once again you are confusing a 'traffic problem' with a 'traffic jam' when in fact the latter is merely one of the many consequences of the former.


OK Rosie

Let's all look forward to the 1950's

You keep walking,I'll keep driving and that way we'll cancel each other out

Problem solved


Ray. Dream on anticipating the 1950's if you want but for those of us living in the real world, the conflicts of increased population coupled with increased demand cannot be ignored for ever. And the longer it is ignored the more painful the solution.

A 'traffic problem' is not just defined by how frequently you have traffic jams.


I agree with Dave. These bad motorists and bad cyclists have one thing in common. They are all selfish and don't give a monkey's for anyone else.These same people are probably a menace when walking towards you on the pavement, or when crossing a road


Biggest problem in Guernsey is that some people just cant drive properly.

They dont have a clue.

Take a look at the dents,broken mirrors on an average road.

I stoped a person in the week as he was reversing on to the pavement hitting the granite wall.

His partner who was very fat, smoking gave me a mouthful and they drove off skidding up the road. Nice. Sums up the love life we have on the Island.


Whilst Cyclist are getting a bashing on this site ...Could I ask the cycle clubs and their members that use the roads for their race meetings to stop shouting and swearing like Eastend Butchers with Piles.

I fully understand they are pushing each other to get good times etc but “Get a move on you F’ing C- -T” is not what I or kids what to hear as they pass by.

Also can they stop riding 3 to 4 abreast having a good old chin wag while the traffic is queued up behind them, at least let the traffic pass then carry on with the old chit chat....happy cycling!!

Terry Langlois

Having ridden with the velo club a lot, I have never heard anyone use language like that. In fact, I've never heard anyone shout to push another along - that is not part of the culture of cycling. If the rider in front is tiring or going too slow, you move to the front, take the wind and pick up the pace yourself. Maybe it happened once (probably in jest) and you were unfortunately in earshot, but it happens no more than you'd hear in other walks of life (walking past a building site for example?), so a bit unfair to raise it as a general criticism.

Riding 3 to 4 abreast is wrong and the velo club gives clear instructions to its members not to do that, and to generally ride with consideration for other road users. Again, I have very rarely seen this - maybe at the start of the larger events before the groups string out, but it is not general practice.

Of course, not every group of cyclists has anything to do with the velo club. There are many informal groups of mates who get together for a ride.


Most coast roads, plaisance road, the road going past the mallard, and a couple of the larger arterial routes in the north of the islands, all 60mph. Forest Rd plus some arterial routes of a medium size, 50mph. Keep all the existing built up areas/25mph limits as they are, but make 100 yards either side of schools 20mph.


So for Hougette school people would be jumping on the anchors down from 60 (or 50) down to 20mph


You'd have to stagger it, so drop it down to 40 way before the school, and then down to 30, then down to 20. After the school raise it to 40 and leave it there until you get to the bottom.

Terry Langlois

you're a lunatic


None of those speeds are exactly fast, and certainly not dangerous.


With that kind of mentality i would imagine YOUR dangerous at any speed :).


I'm slighty concerned you might actually be serious - maybe if you are walking back from Town at 2 in the morning slightly worse for wear and stumbled off the pavement just around Morley Corner as I drive through you could then remind me that 60mph is perfectly safe once I've finished scraping you off my windscreen!

Probably not one of your better ideas.


I don't get it...... how would this encourage more people to cycle and walk?