'No easy answers to gridlock at the Bridge'

THERE is no quick fix to traffic problems on the Bridge, the Environment Department said yesterday.

One of the problems with traffic on the Bridge is people waiting for a parking space. It can be for as long as 10 minutes according to one man. (Picture by Tom Tardif, 1293322)
One of the problems with traffic on the Bridge is people waiting for a parking space. It can be for as long as 10 minutes according to one man. (Picture by Tom Tardif, 1293322)

THERE is no quick fix to traffic problems on the Bridge, the Environment Department said yesterday.

St Sampson’s senior constable Rob Broome had complained about the gridlock in the area and said there was not even an unloading bay.

‘The department is currently reviewing the existing provision of unloading facilities in the area with a view to introducing additional facilities if required,’ said a department spokesman

However, it did concede that the situation was far from ideal.

But the department brushed aside concerns raised by Mr Broome at the impact on traffic by any development of Leale’s Yard.

Comments for: "'No easy answers to gridlock at the Bridge'"

Pepe Le Pew

I love Guernsey - waiting for a parking space "for as long as 10 minutes according to one man" is now traffic gridlock.

Perhaps when we cut through the hyperbole the long lamented road problems we have aren't as bad as we once thought.

Terry Langlois

Totally agree.

We have no traffic or parking problems of real significance, and so the insignificant inconveniences are perceived as problems.

If people tried queuing for an hour to get into a multi-storey car park (and then driving around 3 times to find a space) in a UK town, and then having to walk more than 5 minutes to get to the shops that they want to visit, they would understand how good we have it here.

guern abroad


Plus if the able bodied (though lazy) parkers parked and walked then the immediate parking would be available for the less able and there would be less queuing too I expect.

Island Wide Voting


I presume the gent meant that some people are willing to wait up to ten minutes in the middle of the inner bridge road for someone to reverse out of their space ( probably an exaggeration ... my father once swore that he waited half an hour to get off the old yellow line at the North Side /Bridge junction !)

If those 'waiting' drivers had the gumption to look over their shoulder they would see that they are causing a back up of traffic more than halfway along Southside


There is a simple answer that should of been agreed years ago. It is exspensive but is the only long term solution.

You build a bridge going across from South Side to North side starting at one of the arms so that through traffic from the Bulwer road can miss the shopping centre completly.

This should of been done a decade ago and of course would of been cheaper.

It would then also live up to it's name at long last!

You survey how many cars go through the bridge area without wanting the shops, its at least 60 to 70 per cent just wanting to get to the north of the island.

Island Wide Voting


That sounds a rather expensive solution to the problem which in the main is caused by people WAITING in the yellow hatched box outside the Chemist for someone to load up their shopping,their kids etc so that they can take up their parking space

During Christmas week a Policewoman just standing there,doing nothing in particular ,did the trick and traffic flowed smoothly in all directions


Have you not spotted that you can cross the Bridge in your vehicle without using the service road for the shops? It is a simple answer which was put into operation years ago.


Not from nocq road


Google maps suggests you can



An alternative might be to use Lowlands Road. I don't see how a new bridge crossing the harbour (at collosal expense) nearer to the sea would help the motorist in Nocq Road.


Ted, Lowlands Rd is one way north to south, so really wouldn't be of help to Nocq Road users. Their only other option is to head south, then back onto New Road via Brock Rd... a bit of a diversion and still heading back into the pinch point at Bridge filter.

One of the contributing factors... not the whole story though, is that drivers won't try further up the parking area where spaces are almost always free, they resolutely stop in the cross hatched box until 'their' space becomes free... infuriating.

However, as others have said, hardly 'gridlock' in real terms, slightly annoying yes, but really not the end of the world.


I totaly agree with Douf it is by far the simplest answer but of course would be expensive.

And while we talking about the "Bridge" what about a mutistory car park in vale Avenue just in on the right hand side on Guernsey Electric (bomb)site this would reduce the road side parking alowing for un/loading to all the shops. this too is long over due, and stop parking in Vale Avenue which is dangerous.

The Bridge is a great shopping center which is sadly under used to to lack of planning and foresight.

Bob C Wilderbeast

The Bridge never used to be gridlocked till enivronment changed the layout and the Coop built their bigger store. So guess what will happen when Leales yard is redeveloped? yep! you guest it nothing! still gridlocked.


Smaller cars stop large cars and 4+4 have no need for them on the road smaller buses


You probably mean you have no need for a large car others including me do.


No one needs larg cares , I was on holiday from Aus I coud not belive some the cares you have on the the road that cant fit down some of the lanes ,sports cares that do over 200 mph crazy ,and were do you uses a 4+4 in such small place .


4x4s can be used by people who have farmland, or may go off-roading abroad. Other than that I don't see the use or need for one in Guernsey. Some people think that taking their kids to school or using it to transport their weekly shopping 0.5 miles home qualifies as a good reason.

When I grew up I had to use the school bus or was transported around in my mum's Austin Mini (and I considered myself lucky for that privilege as well!)


Disgruntled, you don't say why you 'need' one?


Rubbish. It has nothing to do with the size of it, its how you use it :-)


A large part of the problem is drivers waiting for a parking space and stopping on the yellow box outside the Mariners etc, this causes a back log right along southside.

Also if you could drive out of Nocq road and straight ahead on to the main traffic flow instead of having to go left along the front of the shops this would ease a lot of the problem.

Better policing would also help to stop these cars from waiting on the no waiting box or parking on the pavement by the zebra crossing of on the centre plantation opposite shoe zone as this obstructs your vision when trying to exit to enter the roundabout.


IAN,my words exactly,i dont know what part of KEEP THE BOX CLEAR some drivers do not understand.maybe a reading test should be included in the driving test,or book a few drivers who stop in the box.also take a bit of the granite wall away so you can exit from nocq rd onto the bridge and put a filter to help enter the flow fron southside and new road.


Simple put the Bridge back to how it was years ago, remove the ridiculous chain link fence and kerbing, yes you loose a few parking spaces from the looks of it it would do some folk good to walk from north side. Benefits all round. States stop looking for complicated solutions to simple problems.

Terry Langlois

you've hit the nail on the head - there are almost always spaces on North Side yet people think that it is too much for them to park there and walk back.

It is the same reason why people complain that they cannot park in Town when they want to go shopping. What they mean is that they cannot find a space on the Crown Pier, and don't want to walk from North Beach.


Quick fix = don't build these large property/industrial developments without sorting roads out first!

It really isn't rocket science


A very valid point they are also building all these extra houses in St Martins still using the small lanes but thats the ED for you they cant see futher than a book.

guern abroad

The public can't see further then having a car for each leg and an oversized one at that.

Please stop blaming the Island and/or the States for many things that could be improved by better decisions made by the public.


Who is blaming the Island/States?

I live near the bridge and walk there - aside from the dangers of negotiating Nocq Road with large volumes of traffic and speeding vehicles the bulk of the traffic isn't trying to shop on the Bridge but make their way to Vale/Bordeaux area.

Do you live on the Bridge? Not if your name is anything to go by. The fact is St. Sampson is getting far too overcrowded for the road infrastructure we currently have and the lanes are becoming very dangerous to walk down.

guern abroad

I used to live in Nocq road.

There are frequent posts blaming the States for situations that could be improved by better choices made by the public. There is bot enough money to make changes to everything.

Samuel Pepys

Why on earth do so many people want to shop on the Bridge, there's only a handful of non Charity shops there for goodness sake?

Island Wide Voting

Pound shop milk I suppose


The simple solution is not to be so lazy and walk , there is always parking along northside . You never know it might do you good.


Put one foot in front of the other and it's surprising how quickly you move. It's called walking. Park off the bridge and walk there, it's a lot quicker than sitting in the queue.


I lived very near the Bridge for a number of years and remember them building this new shop,after knocking down the Anchor laundry and it was mooted there would be an in out drive, well this did not happen and this is one of the problems, the carpark for the Co-op in not big enough to take that volume of traffic, particularly double divi days and in the carpark there is some very dodgy manouevering waiting for spaces, hence the build up in Nocq rd which causes absolute gridlock, I think the Co-op realised quite soon that the car park was going to be a problem and I personally cannot wait to see a new Co-op on the Bridge. I can hear the cry from Dave Jones now. I also believe the marina should have been made into partly a visiting marina to rejuvinate the area slightly, have a market on a Saturday on the Crocq and give the whole area some appeal, it is quite depressing walking along the Bridge now and often quite smelly and dirty. My little grandaughter slipped on some chips on Saturday morning outside Beekers she did not hurt herself, but it is not very pleasant down there at all.


This problem seems to have manifested itself since the parking near the shops was increased from 30 minutes, to the one hour it is at present. Should n't cost much to revert to the original time on the basis of a six months trial. Oh, and possibly add a filter in turn outside the Mariners.


It's all very well having a filter and turn outside the Mariners but you need to have flowing traffic there... not likely for most of the time!


This whole situation is just one of the obvious consequences of a community overly dependent on private cars for transport. The only long term solution is to reduce the number of vehicles on the roads.

I understand the Leale's yard development plans include a multi-storey car park. If that parking provision is additional to what is already there, then the result will be even more cars being invited into the narrow roadways of St Sampsons from all over the island. If you think you have congestion now, wait until that happens!

Herbert Roth

The solution is simple: Get rid of the parking places right in front of the shops, then traffic can get moving again. Perhaps retain the spaces further away from the Mariners end for disabled & parents. At some point a new public car park is needed, but where to put it? Leale's yard would seem the obvious choice.


Not surprised that some of the comments turn quickly to the 'blame 4*4 owners' what does it matter if you have a 2 wheel drive car or 4 wheel drive car? I have a Defender 90 which is 92 inches long (Go Figure) that is actually shorter then a honda civic and it can carry 7 people? This is the only car that we have in the household 2 drivers. We pay tax on the Diesel so any increased wear and tear we do is covered in the fuel we burn.

I don't see why I should be forced to drive something else which I don't want to or how me driving a Honda Civic is suddenly going to stop the Gridlock on the Bridge.

And Richard I believe in Australia you still have drive through off licenses?! Why don't you worry more about them then some cars which can exceed 35MPH which to be fair is all of them.


Filter 'in' turn, NOT filter 'and' turn. Jeff,are you a driver?



I think Jeff is more right than you coming out of the Mariners.Walking across the filter he needs to look around make sure he feels capable to cross.



Its alright for you to harp on about the car and too many cars on the road, but once again the buses have let us down, very badly, i do not listen to Radio Guernsey and had no idea that some buses were cancelled, a flipping disgrace.


What should they have done ? Sent a messenger boy with a telegram round to every house on the island with possibly out of date information ? ( mind you it would be nice if they updated their 'live' service Twitter feed .... )

To quote Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz

"I’m sorry, but if you can’t be bothered to take an interest in local affairs that’s your own lookout."



The point is that public services should be reliable and it should not be necessary to check every morning that services we rely on are working as promised.


valeite. I totally agree that in order to reduce car numbers on the roads, it is vital that we have a usable, reliable, inexpensive (to use), frequent and efficient bus service. Have I ever said otherwise?

pb falla

I often cycle pass many cars across the bridge in my pink lycra shorts and Ninja Turtles T Shirt

Give me a wave next time as i glide on by


where did you get the t-shirt from?????? i have been looking for ages. now the pink lycra short combo......pure genius!!!

on the gridlock matter, why is there gridlock?? the bridge has nothing going for it with only a handful of shops left. just do what i do, cross the solid white line onto oncoming traffic and then continue on my way, this is Guernsey after all, our roads and the people that use them reminds me of the roads in Turkey which are mad!!

PB Falla


The shorts were a gift from my mate shadow,i can be seen most days around The Bridge on my bike when im in guernsey,here are some of my t shirts to look out for

Sark Is A Lark

I Love Thomas The Tank

Bobby Magic

guernsey the cesspit of the world

Donald Duck

Rupert The Bear

Various NInja Turtle shirts

And last bust not least,matching t shirts for Mrs Falla

Be Happy Have An Ale (My Shirt)

Be Happy Have Anal (Mrs Fallas)

Island Wide Voting

That was you !

I remember you now.You were being chased by two men in white coats and they managed to grab you by the roundabouts

Pepe Le Pew

Sounds like another Guernsey fashion shambles! At least you're easy to spot though so less chance of an accident.

As a fellow cyclist I'll certainly wave next time I'm gliding past drivers on my 'chang....


No wave, but a single finger salute maybe warranted!


Sorry PLP, my comment wasn't directed at you, but PBF.

pb falla

Thats Nice

I double it


PB, I see yours and raise you another two:-)


Is that what they call foreplay ?


revert it back to the way it was.When leale`s yard gets developed it will be much safter for heavy vechicles to have bettter and safer access.

Have a couple of handicap spaces allocated and uloading bays.

Get people to park on the many disc parking areas and make them 2 hour zones which hopefully will discourage the ever increasing car sales area.



In post 13 you have stated the obvious, the only long term solution is to reduce the number of cars on the roads, well we know that, but it is a bit like saying if none of us fell ill, we could close the hospital, it aint gonna happen and particularly now the bus service has gone belly up.

I have a car, I have paid for it and I insure it, I work one end of the island and live at the other, I have grandchildren at school in the middle of the island and I do voluntary work in town, I am not waiting for a bus now, next week or never.



I certainly agree with you that what I said in post 13 is bloney obvious but I think that Guernsey's problem is that the majority of people still won't admit it. They would rather squabble about how we can squeeze more cars and more parking onto our limited land space and ignore the consequences that that brings.

Everyone has reasons why they sometimes need to use the car- some more legitimate than others but too few are prepared to support the bus service even when it was running more efficiently or if it could work for them, even if for only a percentage of their journeys. And loads of people use your excuse of having spent money on a car and insurance etc so won't consider alternative ways of getting round whatever. Of course it is always someone else that should get their car off the road!

If we all aimed to use our cars for just 60-70% of our journeys and alternatives for the other 30-40%, the bus would get the support it needs and our traffic problems would be greatly alleviated. I reiterate tho' that the bus service has to be up to scratch for this to be a realistic aim.


Rosie, as usual you make some very valid points; however, I can't see people abandoning their cars to hop on alternative transport, the reason why? Not using buses, not the fact that motorists have paid for a car, insurance, etc, but, the fact that on an island this size, the pick up points are more than likely to be within site of destinations, phsycology (?spelling) will win the day.

Kevin Stuart's comments re car sharing are valid, albeit in the wrong arena, however, should like minded travellers get together and, money changes hands for petrol etc, their insurance providers need to know about it.

Island Wide Voting


If you can hang on long enough surely the island demographics will sort out the problem naturally

Other threads( especially the GM / Spartacus thread) bang on about how there will be fewer and fewer youngsters to support an ever ageing population

If there will be fewer teenagers getting their fist car on their seventeenth birthday and more of us oldies having to give up driving ( I really dread that day arriving) then Bob's your uncle and there is no need to bring in draconian vote losing measures to solve a problem which actually does not exist anyway


I'm still not convinced that we have a traffic problem. We have a parking problem, and we have some modest traffic congestion (by UK standards) between 8.15-9 am, between 5-5,45pm and around the schools in town between 3.30-4.00om.

Better parking facilities at The Bridge would deal with that problem.

The other traffic congestion is frustrating but hardly much more than inconvenience.

As IWV says, the numbers of cars is not now going to increase much if at all because of demographics,

I accept that Rosie is coming at it more from the environmental angle, which is virtually a separate issue, but from the pure traffic angle I think it needs to be put in perspective.


IWV. I haven’t been following the other thread to which you refer so can’t comment on that although I think that the ratio between those in work and supporting those on pensions and out of work will grow. That does not mean that the absolute number of young people will drop. It means there will be more older people.

I don’t know how you are proposing that we ensure older people give up driving. A cut off age? I agree that some older people become dreadful doddery drivers but then we all know that there are also lots of testosterone fueled young drivers that contribute significantly to the dangers on our roads. And I can think of several septuagenarians that could knock many a 40 year old into a cocked hat for mental agility and fitness. Anyway, if that is what you are suggesting, I hope that you are out there with your placard demanding an efficient and regular bus service so that you aren’t left high and dry when your day of reckoning comes..... I haven’t seen much evidence of it yet. (you will also then find that a bus service would be much more efficient with fewer cars on the roads.... but ho hum!)

For decades we have thought (& hoped) that car numbers in Guernsey have reached saturation point and yet every year they increase. You would think that by now we would realise it foolish to continue with what is obviously wishful thinking. Car numbers will continue to grow in Guernsey until we do something about it.


GM. You are right that the environmental angle is a concern of mine, both in terms of pollution and what we are doing to the island of Guernsey, which I think is something we should be ashamed of. But there are plenty of other reasons too why I think we should stop burying our heads in the sand and deal with a problem that is here.... now.

We have seen several threads on here recently where people are commenting on the worries resulting from the rising cost of living. Having a transport system that forces people to travel in the most expensive way there is, is unintelligent. We are warned that lack of activity is going to be the big health cost for the next generation. According to a recent article in the Lancet, lack of activity already accounts for more deaths worldwide than malnutrition. Those who want / need to reduce their costs and improve their health should be encouraged to travel by either walking, cycling or using the bus but the over dominance of cars on our roads discriminates against that course of action. In my opinion- that equates to a ‘traffic problem’.

On top of that there are the huge costs that a car dominated system costs the island at a time when we are running a deficit. We all need to get around and for some journeys the car is the obvious choice. It does not have to dominate the system tho’ to the extent that it does. We could all discriminate more about when to use the car and when to use alternatives for the benefit of everyone and our transport strategy should be devised that encourages us to do that. Additional parking is not the answer as obviously that simply is an invitation to drive.

So in my opinion, our traffic problem cannot just be defined with the narrow perspective of a ‘pure traffic angle’. The issue is far wider because it impacts on almost every sphere of our lives. How long someone sits in a traffic jam is almost a side issue to me.



The demographic evidence of falling school rolls tends to support Ray's (Island wide voting's) theory.

Darren Duquemin talked a lot of sense on the radio this morning saying that paid parking could provide for £1M to be ploughed into a free bus service. Buses would then be full. With more frequent and full buses the town retailers would not suffer due to paid parking.



You make some good points there. Hard to disagree, although I'm still not convinced of the extent of the problem, and I'm pretty confident that it won't get any worse. On that basis, putting the environmental aspects to one side, does it justify a huge amount of money being thrown at the problem?

What comes first, the chicken or the egg? I think an enormous investment in the bus service would've necessary for if to have any chance of working, and it could fail spectacularly, in which case it would be money wasted. So I guess the question is whether the current position can be tolerated, or it so bad that a major investment in the bus service can be justified?

Personally, if it looked like the road-using population was going to grow further then I would say it was worth the investment, but the demographics suggest that the volume of traffic is unlikely to grow much more as the ageing population increasingly gives up driving, with fewer new younger drivers.

I'm not saying that you are wrong. I'm just suggesting that it might not justify an expensive investment to try to solve a likely diminishing problem.



I agree - Darren's comment has a lot of mileage. Unfortunately the House has never previously been willing to bite the bullet on paid parking, but maybe the current house will be different.

However it needs far more than just free bus fares. As many have pointed out, the routes, frequencies and lack of early/late buses are far bigger obstacle than the fares.

Unless its presented as part of a co-ordinated strategy, ie committing the funds for the bus service, then it probably won't get very far once again.



Yes but it's a new house and I gather echo warrior Yvonne Burford is assigned to the strategy.

They need to work out how much it will cost to solve all the problems you mentioned and then they will know how much they need to raise from paid parking etc.

I have changed my mind about paid parking, I was skeptical before but I love the idea of free buses so much.



I assume you meant "eco warrior" rather than "echo warrior"!

Island Wide Voting

Echo warrior is probably closer to the truth as everything that needs to be said about paid parking has already been said


It has just morphed into another hefty stealth tax which has affected the shopper footfall in St Helier ... but of course it will all be different in Guernsey ... sigh


Island Wide Voting

Paid parking in Guernsey would not be intended to solve the traffic problems. As you say - what traffic problems?

It's purpose would be to fund the provision (and knock on effects) of a free bus service which would solve many transport and social problems. Jersey does not have a free bus service.

Island Wide Voting

So it WILL be different in Guernsey then?

That's good news.A free bus service will save about £116 per month in parking charges.Of course that won't affect the rich too much or those with office parking supplied ( Custard Castle .. Deputies on Assembly days etc),but it might affect those who drop the kids off at school on the way in,or those who need to drive somewhere immediately after work,or those who go home for lunch,or those who have to make island wide business visits from their Town office,or those who already car share,or those painter/decorators / plumbers / carpenters/electricians and other tradesmen with jobs to do in Town offices etc etc etc

I suppose it means we will need even bigger buses or a much larger fleet of the same to cope ... still,as long as it will be different in Guernsey ...sigh



Island Wide Voting/Ray

OK I hear you. Many valid points.

But if we don't have paid parking how will we pay for free buses? I want free buses! :-) More but smaller buses.

Could some spaces be rented out for more than £116 per month?

School buses are free already aren't they? There is no excuse for the school run except for primary children which can be done by bus.

Tradesmen access is a valid point and so is your point about workers who go home for lunch but these are not insurmountable problems. Ever heard of sandwiches? ;-)

You could say it is already cheap at 50p per journey with an ormer card but tell that to a single mother who needs to take her 3 kids to town. That's £4 round trip. Without an ormer it's £8!

Guernsey has a track record of doing things better than Jersey. It can be done.


Spartacus & GM. I did hear the idea of free buses raised on the radio- I have long thought that would be an excellent plan and have said so many times. I always thought it should have been introduced during the good years so that when the bad years came round (as surely they would) the infrastructure would be in place and people well used to traveling by bus. Now, I think it would be dependent on the States passing paid parking AND crucially, ring-fencing the money to put toward the bus service.

As I said to IWV, the number of cars on the roads has for a long time been thought to have reached saturation point and still the numbers rise. The problems I cited earlier are here now. It won’t get any easier to deal with if we continue to delay dealing with it. It has been unbelievably short-sighted to continue with fingers crossed, hoping that the situation would suddenly improve. Every time we increase parking provision we add to the problem.- witness Jersey.


How about allowing parking at Guernsey electricities car park on south side (behind the chippy on weekends?)the majority of office staff aren't there at weekends I would guess?

Island Wide voting


Get your compass serviced :)


ha ha :-) I know what I meant :-p


Nice thought Slinky, but I think that Gy Elec rent out the spaces there so I doubt whether they would take a financial 'hit' just to alleviate a bit of congestion on the Bridge.

For the most part, there isn't a parking availability problem on the area, its more to do with shoppers not willing to walk a few extra yards as opposed to stopping in the road whislt waiting for a space to become free. For my part, I avoid the 'inner' road section like the plague and if I have to go to the COOP, I'll nearly always use Commercial Road as a way of getting back onto the Bridge whilst avoiding the bottleneck outside the Mariners.


Exactly, if people didn't sit blocking the road waiting for someone to load up their shopping and exit a space there wouldn't be a problem.

If I ever go shopping at the bridge I either try to get there early so the traffic is lighter or I just park slightly out of the way and walk. I have sympathy for those with valid disabilities (I don't count being too fat/lazy as valid!) wanting to park near the shops and this should be provided for with appropriate disabled spaces.

half a cup

I never really have any problems getting a space at Northside! I'll agree with people on that one. Tricky near the shops though!

We should seek to encourage bus use! That I agree with.

Turn the old derelict houses in Vale Ave to useful parking, MMmmm, possibly but how effective?

I don't mean to alarm anyone but my opinion is that it is only going to get worse. If you look at the head line in the forums, 'Housing set to reveal which sites it wants for development' you will see Belgrave Vinery, Pointes Rocques, Saltpans and Franc Fief (just off Saltpans).

Not sure how many houses are proposed and I agree, people in the Saltpans and Franc Fief are probably more likely to walk. I do believe however, that it is likely to have more of an impact on the traffic in the area. All those extra people concentrated around the Bridge popping there on the way home etc.