Guernsey Press

Most people back St Martin’s School traffic safety measures

PARENTS and children have backed limiting traffic around St Martin’s School, as the first day of the trial took place yesterday.

Thomas Boscher, 8, and Catherine Nicolle in Route Des Coutures which was closed around 3pm to allow students from St Martin’s primary school to walk home safely. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 31957265)

The road is closed to traffic – except for cyclists and those accessing properties – between 8.30 and 9am, and then between 2.45 and 3.15pm.

Closures over the next week are part of a trial by Traffic & Highway Services, which hopes to make the scheme permanent after the Easter holidays.

Head teacher Clare Giles said that everything had gone well and that motorists appeared to be well aware of the scheme.

‘So far so good, we have only had positive comments,’ she said.

‘We have definitely had more parents and children walking and cycling, and several people commented on how lovely it was to be able to hear the birds singing.’

Clare Howarth was there picking up four-year-old Ivy Bisson and said she was in favour of the scheme.

‘It’s not been a problem for us, although I know a few people are a little disgruntled. It is really the kids’ initiative and they are really behind it.’

Eight-year-old Thomas Boscher said he thought it was a great idea.

‘You don’t want cars where children are leaving school,’ he said.

‘This allows everyone to walk and cycle more.’

Judith Finnamore was collecting her daughters, Ella, seven, and Lucy, five, she said that as she lived quite close by closing the road made it easier to walk.

Her daughter Ella said that with no cars, pedestrians and cyclists could get to the school more safely.

T&HS will be monitoring the area all week and road safety officer Paul James was there to see what impact the scheme had on the flow of traffic. He said the longest delay he recorded was three minutes.

Although everyone the Guernsey Press spoke to was broadly in favour of the closure, one angry motorist did swear at staff as he drove past, minutes after the road had reopened, shouting that closing the road was a ‘joke’ and that he had been driving round the lanes ‘for over half an hour’.