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Cars to be banned from country lanes except for 'essential' travel

Cars to be banned from country lanes except for 'essential' travel

Thursday 16 July 2020

Cars to be banned from country lanes except for 'essential' travel

Motorists will no longer be able to take a shortcut down a country lane, after States Members approved a new network of pedestrian-friendly roads.

Walkers, cyclists and horse riders will have legal priority down these roads, which will have their own signs and markings. Motorists will only be able to use them if their journey is deemed ‘essential’.

The change comes after States Members voted in favour of a proposal on Wednesday from Reform Jersey's Deputy Rob Ward.

Parish Constables will now go away and produce a list of ‘designated roads’ where the new rules will apply.

It is likely that most existing Green Lanes will be part of the network but not necessarily all. Equally, not all the roads will have the 15mph Green Lane speed limit. New signs and/or road markings will mark these new ‘designated roads’.

Deputy Ward said: “This gives people the option to change the way they travel with the backing of government. Too many lanes are recognised as cut throughs for traffic and become the classic ‘rat run’ at times of day. The emphasis on the legal requirement to obey priorities and speed limits provides a stimulus for the behavioural change needed.”

During the Staes Assembly debate, most opponents to the plan asked how ‘essential’ travel would be defined and how the law would be enforced.  

Infrastructure Minister Kevin Lewis said: “We have a Sustainable Transport Policy on its way, which will deliver much of what Deputy Ward is trying to achieve. While not perfect, the current Green Lane rules, which are enshrined in the Highway Code, do work and we already have the power in law to stop cars going down roads, except for access. This proposal is both draconian and unenforceable.”

But Deputy Ward also had supporters on the Council of Ministers.

External Relations Minister Ian Gorst said: “Let us not focus on the difficulties but the opportunities that this plan presents. It fits in with work that has already been done by others and will help us to meet our commitment to reduce carbon emissions.”


What's the difference between this new network and the current Green Lane network?

Deputy Ward originally only wanted his plan to cover the existing Green Lanes network but the parish Constables wanted more flexibility: arguing that it might not be appropriate for all Green Lanes. Equally, roads that aren't currently Green Lanes might be included. The Deputy agreed and accepted the changes. In reality, it is likely that the vast majority of the network will be Green Lanes.

What are the current rules?

Under the Jersey Highway Code, Green Lanes have a 15 mph speed limit and are 'intended principally for enjoyment by pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders. Motor vehicles should try to keep off these lanes and should only use them if absolutely necessary for access or for sightseeing.' This new plan raises the bar by putting it in law but it also introduces the definition of 'essential' travel for motorists. What constitutes 'essential' is yet to be agreed so it is unclear if 'sightseeing' will be allowed.

When will the new network open?

There is no set date. The Constables now have to determine which roads will join and talk to the Infrastructure Department, interest groups and others. They will also have to work out how the network will be marked and how they are going to tell people about it.

How will the law be enforced?

Unclear. With many parishes struggling to recruit honorary officers, no one yet knows if and how this will policed. The definition of 'essential' will also be key. If 'sightseeing' is included, will motorists - if stopped - simply say that they were enjoying Jersey's beautiful countryside? 

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Posted by John Smith on
This is unworkable nonsense. What a waste os States time.
Posted by William Boyd on
Unbelievable. This brought about by the rich NIMBIES in the country parishes who don't want anybody to drive past their houses but will happily drive by yours. Dressed up as green environmentalism. It may, but only may, have made a bit more sense if those living in green lanes were not allowed cars but no, they can still drive where they like. Good luck policing that.
Posted by JulianSpurr83 on
Well if I was a visitor to Jersey I wouldn't bother hiring a car, and that's even if I bothered to come at all because of this....
Posted by Martin J on
I agree - we should look at the benefits of this proposal, but this possibly to get the best results this needs to be done in conjunction with sorting the problems caused by roads being administered by DFI or the Parish in question - and often these two authorities do not agree/concur! A DFI policy as mentioned above will likely take primacy over the Law! Eg The generic policy remits suggest 30 or 40 MPH on a particular road is OK when in fact the Road Traffic Jersey Law would cover such speeds with HGV contraflow ( above) as dangerous on a 9 ft wide road! Simple as 15 feet ( 2 HGV) wide does not fit into 9ft!
As a result we have roads of almost identical topography - one with a 15 MPH limit and the one it links to of identical size being 30 or 40 MPH with NO provisions to exclude contra-flowing HGV. Often the width of the 2 x HGV is many feet wider than the total width road they wish to use! HGV should be kept on the main roads UNLESS delivering!

Have a gander at the Parish Of St Peter website ( Parish Assembly section) for 06/09/2017 which shows from DFI stats ( if you multiply the stats x 52 ) that a particular road in St Peter has over TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND SPEEDERS per year and a Parish Assembly from the residents to support a reduction in the speed limit and two years later nothing has been achieved by DFI which administer the road! This road also adjoins and almost identical green lane of 15 MPH so you exit the green lane onto a double junction on blind bends with a legal 'merge' speed of 60MPH!

This IS but one problem but for anyone exiting the Green lane ( Rue Des Hagues) they go from safety to real danger!

These speed limits have been set likely in the 1960,s when the amount of traffic - the size of vehicles and the performance of vehicles was considerably less but there has been little cohesion to address this problem. I expect there are many others living on small lanes which are as described above are now dangerous Rat runs!

Time to sort this before someone is killed?
Posted by Steve Liron on
Excellent! I can now spend the £100 of helicopter money due in September on hay for the horse I’ll need to carry me the length of the green lane in which I live to my stable, sorry front door…..

All this in just one week of Jersey politics. If you are an alien reading this and thinking of landing in the island do not, I repeat do not ask of the first bewildered crapaud you encounter to be “taken to your leaders”
Posted by Jon Jon on
Totally unworkable...green lanes aren't adhered to now and not policed.We are now going to have certain green lanes with signposts stating no car allowed?There are two parishes who have no green lanes, so I hope they remain against them. Sorry but if I live around a section of green lanes I'm not going to take a longer detour home to keep cyclists, walkers happy, plus I can see accidents happening with cyclists going into walkers, unless cyclists keep to the speed limit of 15mph.We've far more important things going on in this island and world and yet we have mindless states members bringing forward these daft ideas....time for an island wide voting system ,that way we get rid of these mind blowing members!
I run an online business with a home delivery service- how will we be catered for. Many of my customers live down Green Lanes???
Posted by Philip Hudson on
Lets turn jersey into SARK...........
Posted by William Boyd on
Dear Philip, make no bones about it, this is the ultimate goal. More and more streets in town are barred to traffic. The anti car movement is in full swing, aided and abetted by supine politicians in thrall to the latest fad.
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