Road safety issues raised by Douzaine

Fri 10 Mar 2023

Safety issues affecting two Vale roads have been raised by the douzaine with States Traffic and Highway Services after parishioners highlighted the risks and asked for action to be taken.

The two areas are at Bordeaux and the Braye Road, Vale Avenue junction by Iceland, where people avoid using the zebra crossing by the garage to cross the busy road by the store instead.

Both were discussed by the douzaine at its last meeting and letters have been written to Traffic. Senior Constable Richard Leale said the problem at Bordeaux, pictured above, was a particular worry.

"Quite a few people walk around there," he said, "and are at risk as they go round the bend from Rue de Bordeaux into Castle Road. There's no pavement or markings on the road and the danger is that cars and, especially, heavy traffic hug the sea wall and then risk hitting pedestrians as they walk round the corner." The hazard was heightened because of the vegetation on the corner, which partially obscured the view.

Because the road there is quite wide, the douzaine has suggested that a footpath could be installed, in effect extending that which runs along Rue du Bordeaux and ends at the junction of Les Petils, which leads to Bordeaux car park (pictured).

Not a priority
In response, Traffic said that adding infrastructure to promote active travel and improve safety of vulnerable road users was one of its key objectives and Bordeaux fell within this remit. However, it was unlikely that it would be prioritised in the immediate future because it was not a small project and, due to resources, Traffic was having to focus on projects accessing and within the main centres of St Peter Port and the Bridge area and those around schools.

Mr Leale said he understood why Traffic had responded as it had and was pleased the matter was on its to-do list. "What concerns me, however, is the Constables and individual douzeniers have had a number of complaints about near misses and this is an on-going situation. What we all want to avoid is someone getting hurt – and people with pushchairs are especially vulnerable – for this to become a priority."

Even painting a "white line pavement" or putting crosshatching on the road to encourage traffic to take a wider line would help, he said. "We feel so strongly about this that we're happy to use a contractor of our own to do the work and pay for it," he said. "This is very much a parish improvement and we have funds for that very purpose."

Longer term, he hoped that Traffic would consider the whole junction layout as it made no sense to him to have the yellow line effectively stopping the main road and heavy vehicles in particular had difficulty looking left towards Rue des Barras. 

Iceland crossing
The other issue raised with Traffic concerns the crossing at Route des Coutures on the way down from the Vale School. This has been discussed by the douzaine and reinforced subsequently by a parishioner who said: "I have seen numerous people including children crossing from the estate to Iceland and back but not on the crossing, just taking a chance. I have also seen some near misses and a couple of accidents. I strongly believe the crossing should be moved to the other side of the junction to be safer and used more. The crossing at the moment only serves the garage and not even safely."

They said they were prepared to launch a petition to get action if necessary.

In response, Traffic said that it already had designs produced for a crossing at the suggested site, which was in addition to rather than replacing the other crossing, but had yet to be confirmed to be progressed. The department was also looking at the entire area as part of the WSP Mobility Plan for the north of the island and might fall under that or be progressed separately. 

Mr Leale said: "I'm grateful for these responses and will be maintaining contact with the authorities to see these safety improvements are made as soon as possible."

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