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Guernsey "risks being a tertiary player" if Jersey tunnels alone

Guernsey

Saturday 09 March 2024

Guernsey "risks being a tertiary player" if Jersey tunnels alone

Saturday 09 March 2024


“Significant clout” can be achieved by linking the Channel Islands to France, with concerns over Guernsey’s position if Jersey support the connection alone.

A private group wants to explore the feasibility of a high-speed rail link between St Peter Port and Normandy via Jersey Airport and St Helier through a sub-sea tunnel through rock.

But Martyn Dorey, leading the Connect 3 Million project, said if Jersey’s government decides to help get core samples out of the seabed and Guernsey doesn’t “it sends a signal to the market”. 

Mr Dorey said the inter-Channel connection would create a “critical mass” between the populations and could result in reduced public service costs, particularly in healthcare and administration through greater collaboration. 

Economies of scale would be enhanced with access to millions of people in northern France, which he said could also boost tourism, create greater economies of scale and negate the need for tax increases. 

“We’ve always been big on engineering,” he said, pointing to the Alderney breakwater project and the reclamation of the Braye du Valle.  

If Guernsey decided not to participate or wasn’t perceived to be a serious player in the scheme, it could have negative impacts on the island’s future, others said. 

It comes as both island governments announced closer collaboration on healthcare services, something which has been repeatedly touted over many years. 

Samuelson_Faroe_tunnel.jpg

Pictured: Experts were brought to Jersey and Guernsey this week to present to business leaders, civil servants, and politicians. 

Rollo de Sausmarez, an advisor to the Connect 3 Million project, said“The factor people need to bear in mind is if Jersey get on with it and we're not particularly involved, and we don't do anything either ourselves to Jersey or ourselves to France, then we risk being a tertiary player in the whole spaceIt wouldn't be good for our future. 

It's really clear that in Jersey, they really grasp the challenges they face economically over the next 10 years around housing, access to workers, and reliance on a single sector, the finance sector.So, they accept there isn't enough, they have any tools in the box to help with that. 

[Jersey] seem to be further ahead than Guernsey in their acceptance both in business and in government that this is viable."

He added: “One of the biggest risks from Guernsey's perspective is if they don't start working seriously with Jersey at the scoping stage. So, if they can, if they can chuck some money into the mix then they can work together. But if they if they don't - if they don't get involved really soon – I think the danger is that Jersey does its own thing. 

And if Jersey does its own thing, it's most likely that they'll go east. 

But I think the best outcome for everyone genuinely is Guernsey to Jersey, Jersey to France. A coordinated approach with a jointly owned vehicle that does it arm's length with stakeholders on both sides involved. Then everyone wins."

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