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Too revved up about coastal car sales

Guernsey Press Comment | Published:

HAVING unsurprisingly shown that sticking a few signs out asking people not to sell vehicles in coastal car parks had little impact, Environment & Infrastructure has announced that it will legislate to outlaw the practice.

However unsightly car sales may be, the committee is opening a can of worms when the States is already struggling to find time to drive through law changes, a situation that will only get more acute as the law officers’ time gets consumed by reacting to Brexit.

At the start of this year there were 95 pieces of legislation that were still outstanding to implement policies previously agreed by the States.

The oldest dates back to 1989, although there are moves to scrap that one.

Among deputies’ pet projects from the past that are sitting around are such beauties as the 2006 ban on bull bars, backed at the time because of how dangerous they are.

E&I is already behind on implementing initiatives under the integrated transport strategy.

There has also been a general warning from Policy & Resources that committees are beginning to creep into working on projects that do not fit in with the agreed States priorities.

So is this the right time to add investigations that will have to potentially deal with the contentious issue of land ownership on the coast if it is to be effective and not simply move sales on to new patches?

Perhaps E&I has a simple and effective solution up its sleeve.

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Then again, if it did, why did it waste time littering the coastline with ugly signs last summer?

The president admitted in the Assembly that it would be a ‘more costly and time-consuming option’.

With the amount of issues consuming States resources at the moment, adding this to the mix is yet another example of the inability of some committees to prioritise their work.

Clearly E&I feels this is a public nuisance that requires attention now. No doubt those working in the motor trade facing competition that they feel distorts the market will agree.

But proportionately in terms of the response, the workload and costs, needs to be the overriding concern here.

Nick Mann

By Nick Mann
author

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