Rally given conditional green light by traffic services

Guernsey Rally has been given conditional approval for its 2023 event from Traffic and Highway Services.

Pic supplied by Andrew Le Poidevin: 26-02-2022. The 2022 Comprop Guernsey Rally (31539645)
Pic supplied by Andrew Le Poidevin: 26-02-2022. The 2022 Comprop Guernsey Rally (31539645)

Traffic Services has written to Guernsey Rally to confirm conditional approval for the February event.

The decision follows complaints from some residents and parish officials.

‘In order for the event to go ahead, they will need to meet 19 conditions which include, but are not limited to, improved consultation with some field or landowners bordering stages, steps to protect sites with an environmental designation and consideration of recommended minor changes to the proposed route,’ the T&HS spokesman said.

Rally organiser Karl Marshall was both pleased and relieved with the news.

‘It means the work we have put in has not all been in vain.’

The rally has received differing levels of support from the parishes it goes through.

St Peter’s douzenier Tim Langlois, who was speaking independently, was surprised the rally had been given permission.

‘I’ve been talking to T&HS and I know they have had a number of letters complaining about the event. In St Peter’s alone there was over 20. This is a serious disruption and it’s just not right. They are imposing it [the rally] on parishioners who don’t want it.’

St Andrew’s constable Martin Thwaite said his parish fully supported the event.

‘There is actually still a small part of the event that is still in St Andrew’s. Every year they change the routes, it will probably come back here next year.’

‘The first year we decided to give it a go and we were very impressed by the organisation. It was well planned, well run and well supported.’

The resident who featured in the Guernsey Press raising concerns said she understood the conditions for the rally to go ahead included giving landowners a minimum of two weeks to comment.

‘This is an improvement on the three days we were given. We also understand that not all the consultation letters have yet been sent, therefore with Christmas period coming up we can’t understand how the rally can possibly go ahead in February 2023 – unless further corners are going to be cut in the consultation processes.

‘We also understand that there are to be discussions with media about how the event is covered – this is because on previous years people have practised the rally route – whether rally drivers or people wanting to have a go. This puts residents in real danger because there are no marshals at those times.

‘There are reports of drivers going along the lanes at 125mph and stopping suddenly behind children and horses along the lanes in the days and weeks leading up to the event.

‘We will continue to protest against the rally in our lanes and again suggest that the concept is put to a democratic vote. We have also put the States on notice that we will seek to rely on their insurance for any damage to our animals or property from spectators or noise.’

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