Guernsey Press

E&I unveils bold ideas to make roads in north safer

Islanders are being asked for their thoughts on whether a range of traffic measures, such as cycle contraflows, zebra crossings and a car share scheme, could help to ease the strain on roads in the northern parishes.

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Environment & Infrastructure president Lindsay de Sausmarez and vice-president Adrian Gabriel presenting the committee’s Better Transport Plan. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 33249396)

About 1,000 homes could be built in the north of the island, but local roads are already at capacity.

Environment & Infrastructure has revealed its plan to offer more transport choices and improve safety.

The Better Transport Plan includes proposals for new footpaths and bike lanes, cycling contraflow, resident-only access, junction improvements and targeted road widening for pedestrian infrastructure.

‘Irrespective of the future developments, this is an opportunity to improve the quality of life and give more choice to people in the area,’ said E&I president Lindsay de Sausmarez.

‘We could have buried our heads in the sand and let planning applications do the work, no one was forcing us to do this work, but we do think that there is a lot of potential to make positive improvements for the residents in the area.’

Some of the actions will be delivered through the States within the E&I budget, and its existing business has been reprioritised in order to complete these measures.

Other aspects will be delivered through the Guernsey Development Agency.

While some ideas will require planning permission, others are designed to be practical, easily deliverable and affordable.

‘There are a lot of very significant development sites in a relatively small geographical area.

‘There are some big arterial roads, but there are a lots of little lanes that weren’t even designed for the last century, let alone this century,’ said Deputy de Sausmarez.

‘Planning can only really deal with developments on a site-by-site basis and so it’s not planning’s fault but it would be unfair to expect individual developers or planning applicants to deal with these things.

‘We’ve never really had a system that has taken into account the cumulative impacts of development over time. With lots of development in one area and each site considered on its individual merits, we don’t get much joined-up thinking, and so that was our starting point as a committee.’

Deputy de Sausmarez added that Guernsey has one of the highest levels of car ownership in the world, and very high levels of solo car occupancy.

The plan does not look at speed limits, and a proposed road safety review is on hold until it has seen whether the latest proposals are successful.

  • Better Transport Plan in detail on pages 6&7 of today’s Press.