Plans agreed in the year of the Queen's coronation to make Tower Road safer are still not finished - 65 years later. But officials have now announced one more step towards achieving their goal.
In the same year that Her Majesty, Elizabeth ll was crowned the Queen of England, a St. Helier Parish Assembly agreed to make Tower Road bigger and safer for pedestrians by providing footpaths.
But while islanders may have seen some unique and important achievements over the years since that decision - including England winning a World Cup, the world’s first supersonic airliner Concorde taking flight, the Channel Tunnel open and even the details of how DNA is structured being published - the residents of St. Helier are still waiting on that wider, safer road.
The delay is down to the difficulty in getting the land needed to make the road wider, according to André Sty, the Manager of Technical and Environmental Services for St. Helier. Mr Sty told Express “it’s not easy” to acquire the privately owned land, but the parish has been able to buy four different areas over the years.
Pictured: The parish has negotiated to buy the land highlighted in yellow for £15,000 in order to install a footpath and widen the road.
Although 95% of the road improvements agreed in 1953 have been completed towards the bottom end of Tower Road, the Parish are only just able to address the bad ‘hairpin’ bend towards the top of the hill, as they reached a deal in August 2016 to buy 210 square feet of the garden of ‘Broomhill’ house - right at the centre of the area – for £1,500.
The land purchase means there will soon be a footpath on the outer side of the bend all the way to ‘Broomhill’ house and there will also be a continuous pathway on the other side of the road. The road will also be elevated to improve the off-camber corner at the ‘hairpin’ bend which Mr Sty told Express has proved hazardous in icy conditions, to make the road safer for drivers too.
The work, which is being carried out by Brenwall civil engineers at a cost of £15,000, will involve road closures and some traffic disruption, but the parish have scheduled it for the school holidays, starting after Easter to minimise problems. It’s hoped the work will be completed by September 2018.
But this isn’t the final chapter of the roadwork scheme spanning almost seven decades, as the last part of the hill towards the cemetery still needs to be improved.
Pictured: The tight bend on Tower Road will be widened and levelled after a part of the garden was bought from Bromhill House on the left. (Google Maps)
£150,000 has been allocated to the project after the Parish received a £642,130 payment by the States as agreed in the 2018 States Budget debate last year, after the suggestion was put forward by Constable Simon Crowcroft.
But one long-standing resident of Tower Road won’t see the finished project. A tree that sits on the ‘hairpin’ bend has to be removed to make way for the new walkway. The road will need to be closed for it to be cut down on 31 March 2018.
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