E&I close to fulfilling electric buses dream

GUERNSEY’S electric bus dreams could finally be coming out of the slow lane and into reality.

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Environment & Infrastructure president Lindsay de Sausmarez gave a progress report on the zero-emission buses during her update statement to the House.

‘Part of the States fleet over which E&I has direct responsibility is our buses, and we are really pleased that finally there are fully electric vehicles available on the market that meet our very Guernsey-specific requirements in relation to width, range and capacity.

‘We are therefore hopeful that phase three of the bus replacement programme, which we’re working on with procurement at the moment, could result in the island’s first set of electric buses.’

On coastal defences, the issue of L’Ancresse wall is likely to return to the States, after it was the subject of a U-turn in 2020 to save the deteriorating eastern section.

Deputy de Sausmarez said the committee had met with the politicians who had brought about last year’s change of direction.

‘The result of which was that officers were tasked with exploring further options.

‘Officers then engaged with lead requerant Deputy Brouard in August, resulting in more options being suggested and investigated.

‘I’m pleased, if slightly exhausted, to report that the committee will review all these options at our next meeting in order to identify a preferred way forward, and from there the matter will, in all likelihood, return to the States.’

Regarding other walls, a tender will be going out for damaged Fermain wall as soon as the committee has considered all the options and identified a preferred way forward. The wall was damaged during a storm in 2014.

At the Cow’s Horn, near the former Aquarium, an assessment of the repairs has been completed, which should help establish a lasting solution. The steps closed in early 2020 after a landslip.

‘I cannot overstate that it is not a question of simply rebuilding the steps.

‘The ground has moved, making it much more complex and challenging.

‘It is important that the whole area is secured to avoid a repeat of the recent collapse.

Allowing for the design and then tender process, and the release of funding, these works should begin next year.’

Finally there was good news for winter swimmers – maintenance work is expected to start at the end of this month on La Vallette pools, but the intention is to always keep one pool open, where possible. The seawater pools host a swim on Christmas Day, known as the Polar Bear Swim.

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