Environment & Infrastructure president Barry Brehaut said this was one of the projects his committee was looking at to encourage more people to take active travel routes.
‘If you look at a map, there’s lots of paths that run next to each other, separated by parcels of land,’ he said.
‘If E&I or the States were to acquire some of these small parcels of land we could join up the paths and lanes, ideal for cyclists or pedestrians. At the moment we cannot get completely separated traffic [motor vehicles and bikes in their own lanes], but we want to give cyclists an alternative to hitting the busy main roads all the time,’ he said.
But this cannot be done on the cheap.
‘We know the health benefits of active travel, it makes absolute sense to try and do it, but the next E&I committee is going to have to use mechanisms in the Revive & Thrive policy to push it forwards.’
According to a study, the average speed of cars per journey in Guernsey is about 16mph, and this is even slower when driving in school traffic or into or out of Town at rush hour. Cyclists average between 10 and 12mph.
‘So being behind a cyclist or two for a bit doesn’t actually impede your average speed much at all,’ Deputy Brehaut said.
‘It does not put that much time on your journey. Most of us most days are travelling very short distances anyway – with the exception of commercial drivers.’
He hoped people would respect the road hierarchy that was approved by the States – pedestrians, cyclists, public transport users and then single occupancy vehicles.
Another option his committee has considered is priority parking for people who car-share.
‘Everyone knows how much easier it is to get around the island when the schools are closed and there’s not the same volume of cars on the roads, the traffic is much lighter,’ he said.
‘We need to encourage people to aspire to this and walk more, cycle more, use public transport more. And, of course, the environmental benefit of having fewer cars on the road speaks for itself.’