We have been pushing for some time to have speed reductions introduced on Parish roads and to have those approved already by a Parish Assembly implemented. We met the Department for Infrastructure, who confirmed that before speed reductions are brought in on Parish Roads, they need to be approved by the Department and by the States, by subordinate legislation. Having pressed him we understand Constable Labey has submitted a mix of proposed reductions to 15 and 20 mph on Grouville Parish roads to infrastructure. The speed reductions proposed by the Constable are partly limited to unconnected individual roads and lack the quality of providing a joined-up network which we have been seeking.
Driver behavior has undoubtedly deteriorated. There are too many powerful vehicles on roads unsuitable for them. There is increasing awareness of this in the public domain following in particular the two tragic deaths at Fauvic. This confirms what was in the Road Safety Review of 2021 that the traffic accident rate in Jersey is marginally higher than in the UK however “vulnerable road users” covering pedestrians, cyclists and motor cyclists comprised 64% of all casualties and cyclists and motor cyclists were 84% of those killed or seriously injured. These figures are substantially worse than in the UK where the equivalent numbers were 57% of casualties and cyclists and motor cyclists were about two thirds of those seriously injured or killed. These figures are unacceptable.
This recent tragedy stimulated this group to make its own proposals for the Fauvic area, briefly these are:
A traffic calming raised crossing at the Fauvic crossroads.
20 mph on the A5, a States road, from where it joins La Grande Route des Sablons until past Homefields
20mph also on the B37 States road which crosses the A5 as La Route des Cotils and continues southwards as La Rue au Long.
We put them to Tom Binet the Minister of Infrastructure, who welcomed them, but noted that the civil servants involved were under a lot of pressure about this and other matters!
We put them to the Constable who made it clear that the Parish did not want to engage with us about them.
I raised the matter recently at the Constituency Surgery with Deputies Carolyn Labey and Steve Luce, when we discussed the suggestion that 30mph would replace 40 as the default maximum road speed. Carolyn agreed with our suggestion for a 20mph maximum on the States roads in the Fauvic area, instead of the present 30mph on Rue du Fauvic and 40 on the rest, which are narrow, turn around corners and are fringed with granite walls. She agreed and described them as country roads where the maximum should be 20mph.
Carolyn put forward a simplified scheme for the Island, which we welcome, as follows:
40mph on Victoria Avenue and the Five Mile Road.
20mph as the default maximum on all town, residential and country roads including the States roads in the Fauvic area. This would mean effectively all Parish roads, except those to which the 15mph limit applies.
30mph as the default maximum on other roads.
Such speed reductions are overdue. They would simplify the present complexity of road speeds, which drivers miss and dislike. However we shouldn’t wait for such an overall change but press on with the speed reductions already underway. They mean the Parish needs to work with those like the Grouville Community interest group pressing for change.
The need for speed reductions is demonstrated by the statistics which shows a crash at 30mph has twice the energy and destruction of one at 20mph. If a car hits a pedestrian at 40mph there is a 90% likelihood he or she will be killed, at 30 mph 20% at 20 2.5%.