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Road plans on hold after parishioners left "incensed"

Road plans on hold after parishioners left

Monday 17 July 2023

Road plans on hold after parishioners left "incensed"

Monday 17 July 2023

Plans to create a one-way system around Trinity Parish Church and introduce various traffic-calming measures have been put on hold after they received a hostile response from parishioners.

Infrastructure Minister Tom Binet, whose department is proposing the ‘Trinity Village Improvement Scheme’, said he would pause plans for this week and would hold a fresh series of talks next week to find a "better consensus”.

"Quite an extraordinary level of discontent"

This was after he and his officers attended a 'community drop-in' session at Trinity Parish Hall on Saturday, where, Deputy Binet said, there had been “quite an extraordinary level of discontent”.

The proposals from Government, which were launched with a consultation last November, include making Rue au Sellier one-way northbound, Rue Presbytère one-way southbound and preventing westbound traffic from driving down Rue d’Asplet.

Tom Binet.jpg

Pictured: Infrastructure Minister Tom Binet said there had been an "extraordinary" level of discontent.

Traffic coming up Route de la Trinité from town would have to turn left into Rue es Picots briefly and then right into Rue au Sellier. 

The proposals also include traffic calming measures including several raised tables, building more pavements and lowering the speed limit to 20 mph.

"It felt more like a done deal than a discussion"

One of those raising concerns on Saturday was parishioner Richard Le Sueur, a former Centenier and Procurer.

He said: “These proposals might solve an issue around the church but all it does is move the problem elsewhere.

“For example, people driving westbound wanting to get to Sion or Springside will either choose to drive to Haute Croix or they will go down Trinity Main Road then turn right into Rue Jacques and across to Rue des Haies or right into Rue de Brabant. It will make these quiet and narrow lanes a lot busier.

“They would be better spending taxpayers’ money widening Rue d’Asplet, which is mostly States land on the north side anyway.”

He added: “The drop-in session was certainly lively on Saturday, although it felt more like a done deal than a discussion."

Scheme perpetuates "universally loathed" one-way system

District Deputy Andy Howell also voiced concern over the proposals.

“Generally, parishioners are incensed. They understand the need for safety, particularly making it easier for people to cross from Le Grand Clos to Les Maisons Cabot and the shop, but I think the process has all been wrong.

“The negativity – even from members of the Roads Committee – shows that there hasn’t been proper consultation."

Andy Howell

Pictured: Deputy Andy Howell said there hadn't been "proper consultation".

She continued: “The one-way system when the wall was being built [outside Le Grand Clos] was universally loathed and this scheme seems to perpetuate that. 

“Parishioners also felt like it was a done deal, especially when told that the work was starting this summer. 

“People feel that this is over the top, and will have ramifications for other parts of the parish, such as Rue de la Petite Falaise, which became a rat-run when traffic was diverted down there.”

“We cannot move forward with the current level of anxiety in the parish"

Deputy Binet said a pause was required, which talks set to continue after this week’s busy States sitting.

“It was a worthwhile drop-in session on Saturday and I was kept very busy. There were lots of different views, and quite an extraordinary level of discontent.

“Once this week is over, we can down early next week to assess the feedback and take it from there.

“Some of those against the proposals are suggesting calling a Parish Assembly, which would require a proposition and a vote. I urge them to hold fire for the time being because it would simply tie people’s hands one way or another. We are at too early a stage for that.

“I will be meeting the Constable and the Roads Committee next week. Hopefully, we can then call a general meeting, where we can share our thoughts and suggestions and seek to find a better consensus.

“We cannot move forward with the current level of anxiety in the parish. We don’t want any kneejerk response – this is now all about building a better consensus.”

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