Closing Broad Street has been a “stunning piece of nonsense”, according to some of the traders along the road.
They say that it is “like a ghost town” for most of the day, only used by speeding cyclists and scavenging seagulls.
Other businesses, meanwhile, have spoken more favourably about the closure. They argue that the lack of pollution and noise has been a breath of fresh air.
Broad Street was closed in May in response to the pandemic, after queues formed along its narrow pavements, particularly outside the Alliance supermarket, the Post Office and around the bus stop.
Mark Fisher, Sales Director at Fotosound, described the closure as "a stunning piece of operational nonsense."
Pictured: Fotosound's Sales Director said that the closure had caused problems with deliveries, and cycling accidents.
"There was no consultation and no thought behind it. We have personally picked up three people off the street who have been knocked over by bikes because they come from both directions, even though it is a one-way street."
“Only being able to have deliveries until 11:00 also doesn’t work because we need to drive close to the shop at other times of the day, and the unloading spaces in Sand Street are always full. We’ve had delivery drivers who have had to park in Gloucester Street as that’s the nearest space they can find."
He continued: “It certainly hasn’t encouraged more people to use Broad Street. It’s like a ghost town at normally busy times of the day and people still stick to the pavements because of the cyclists, skateboards and low-flying seagulls.
"I have heard this is a permanent arrangement now, which would be a disaster for Broad Street and St. Helier as a whole. And I know lots of other businesses in the area agree with me."
Pictured: Jewellery store Aurum said they were pleased to be able to speak to customers without background noise.
However, some traders are more positive. Sally Millard, who works in Aurum, said that the closure suited a high-end jeweller.
“We provide a personal, one-to-one service so the fact that we can talk to our customers without any background noise or fumes is a real bonus, although I recognise that other businesses rely on more passing trade than we do.”
Infrastructure Minister Kevin Lewis denied that the closure was permanent.
“I shut the street on medical and scientific advice, and I will reopen it when I’m told it is safe to do so."
Pictured: Infrastructure Minister Kevin Lewis denied the closure will be permanent.
"It is a vital artery through St. Helier so I hope it reopens soon, which may well be when the island moves to 'Level 1' of our Safe Exit Strategy," he added.
Addressing concerns voiced by St. Helier Constable Simon Crowcroft in the States Assembly last week over the lack of a bus stop in the area, Deputy Lewis said he was working with Liberty Bus to find a solution, which could involve setting up a temporary stop in Library Place.
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