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Stuck in Battle traffic? Move it to a Sunday

Stuck in Battle traffic? Move it to a Sunday

Tuesday 14 August 2018

Stuck in Battle traffic? Move it to a Sunday

Tuesday 14 August 2018

Now the Battle has been waged for another year, organisers are already looking ahead to 2019, and the suggestion of moving the island's premier event to the weekend is being raised once again.

But this time, the idea is in the form of an e-petition from Max Mourant, on the basis that he says it would cause less traffic disruption for islanders.

In 2016 a similar idea was suggested, to come into force for the 2017 event, with the aim of boosting attendance. 


Pictured: Victoria Avenue is closed to traffic to make way for the parade of floats and dancers.

At the time, the Battle of Flowers Chairman, Mo Le Var, said: “I think it will be beneficial to Battle. I want to get more people in. The more money we make the better show we can put on. It’s 2016 and the Battle has been the same year after year after year. We got told we had to make changes and I’m not scared to have a go at it.”

However, the two Battles which have taken place since then have both been sell-out successes. Speaking this year, Mr Le Var told Express that the idea to move the battle to the weekend is an “ongoing issue”, which he looked at when he first became Chairman, and that he was willing to “listen to all parties to make Battle a success.”

But he also pointed out that given how many people visit the island specially to watch the Battle, moving the event would have a big impact on the hotel industry, as Saturday is their changeover day.

Although some islanders claim that moving the event to a weekend would reduce the disruption caused by the event, Mr Le Var noted that the organisation of the Battle involved a lot of people, many of whom are volunteers, and that the effect that the change would have on them must be taken into account.

Speaking specifically of the idea to move the main event to a Sunday, he said that this would be very "awkward" and that he, “personally cannot ever see it going on a Saturday and a Sunday,” although there may perhaps be a chance of It running on a Friday and a Saturday. 

He did recognise that if the festival took place over the weekend then perhaps it would attract a greater number of local people, but said that this change wouldn’t make much difference to visitors and in fact could make it more difficult for them to attend the event. But the potential impact of the change is difficult to predict according to Mr Le Var, saying “you don’t know until you’ve tried it.”

battle crowd

Pictured: the battle attracts a mixed crowd of islanders and tourists.

If the e-petition reaches 1000 signatures then ministers will respond to it, but no action will be taken unless it reaches 5000, at which point it will be considered for debate in the States Assembly. It currently holds 18 signatures, so has a long way to go before the motion is even considered. Mr Le Var commented, “...obviously it’s something that’s got to be talked about if it comes to that… we’ll have to wait and see.”

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