'Better Transport Plan' needs to deliver in the North says Constable

Sun 05 May 2024

A forthcoming announcement by Environment and Infrastructure which the States committee says will improve traffic flows in the north of the island has been cautiously welcomed by Vale Senior Constable Richard Leale – but he says it really does need to deliver on its promises.

Mr Leale was commenting after E&I vice president Adrian Gabriel used the Guernsey Press (above) to highlight the imminent publication of its Better Transport Plan.

"While the impact on traffic has always been a concern for new developments in the north, the Better Transport Plan will take a different approach to smooth the way for that much needed housing to come forward," the deputy wrote the newspaper. 

E&I said that over time, residents would see improvements such as new footpaths and safer crossing points, cycle paths, one-way roads with contraflows, streets for access to properties only rather than for through-traffic, targeted road widening, junction improvements, improved signage, more bus shelters with better bus routes and schedules and even a travel app.

"It’s about connecting the dots,’ said Deputy Gabriel, ‘figuratively and actually, by creating links for all modes of transport between, in and around the new development sites in the north of the island, giving current and future residents of the area better options for getting around."

Mr Leale said he welcomed the States finally appearing to take a joined-up approach to traffic and infrastructure issues in the North of the island and would be keeping an open mind on the plan until he had seen it in detail and the Vale Douzaine had an opportunity to consider it properly – especially since the bulk of it would apply to St Sampson's.

"My initial response to the announcement, however, is that detail, deliverability and timing will be crucial to how parishioners respond to what is being proposed. If it comes across as yet another 'get on your bike' proposal from government, I doubt it will get much support from those it is supposed to be helping."

The reason, he said, is that traffic, congestion, parking and poor facilities were already an issue for the north of the island before an extra 1,000-plus homes were supposed to be built in the area.

"The concerns many will have is that the Better Transport Plan will be aimed at alleviating a problem that has yet to be caused by the new homes; the reality is we needed action years ago to resolve the problems that are already here."

Mr Leale stressed he wasn't being negative and personally welcomed any action that would increase investment and improve the area but decades of neglect needed to be repaired on top of mitigating the effects of the new housing programme.

"They're calling it the Better Transport Plan," said Mr Leale. "It really does need to live up to its name."







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