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Cycle safety at the forefront

Cycle safety at the forefront

Tuesday 05 June 2018

Cycle safety at the forefront

Tuesday 05 June 2018

Andy Priaulx has called for more consideration to be given to cyclists, while the States are making allowances to enable push bikes to go up Le Val des Terres on the pavement.

Under the trial scheme, cyclists will have the option to legally ride uphill on the Le Val des Terres footpath; starting during national Bike Week, which begins on Saturday 9 June.

The trial scheme is being introduced as part of the Integrated Transport Strategy, which itself aims to "provide cyclists with a safer environment to travel up the steep hill while also helping to improve traffic flow for all vehicles going up Le Val des Terres." 

The idea is that cyclists will ride on the road as far as the first corner where the "La Vallette ‘zig-zag’ steps join Le Val des Terres and then cross the road," meaning the bike rider will have to give way to oncoming traffic, before continuing to cycle uphill on the footpath, until they reach the junction with George Road.  

At this point the cyclist will have to re-join the main traffic flow to continue their journey. Pedestrians and cyclists will be asked to "share the path with care and courtesy" during this trial period, and beyond if it is adopted as a permanent move.

Val de Terres

The trial route will be signed, with warning signs installed to alert motorists that cyclists, in addition to pedestrians, may be crossing the road. Further temporary signage will also be put in place to remind drivers not to overrun the footpath when cornering. Weather permitting the trial will begin from this coming weekend, Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 June.

Barry Brehaut PROPER SIZE

Deputy Barry Brehaut, President of the Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure (pictured), said this will make it safer and a less stressful journey for everyone using Le Val des Terres.

"This is a Transport Strategy initiative that has dual benefits for cyclists and motorists," he said. "Le Val des Terres is a steep and difficult climb on a bicycle, which does not offer motorists particularly easy over-taking points. The trial offers cyclists a safer alternative via use of the footpath and will also improve traffic flows.

"Signage will make it clear that cyclists are allowed to travel on the footpath in an uphill direction only; cyclists travelling down Le Val de Terres will be required to cycle on the road as normal. Our intention is to monitor the trial and gather feedback before deciding if it should become a permanent feature."

Sam Field, Chairman of The Guernsey Bicycle Group, said it is a good idea, and that "Guernsey Bicycle Group is thrilled to see this project going ahead."

He said it is an idea that has been suggested previously, but never given a trial until now.

"This is a great opportunity to show that people on bikes, on foot and in cars can travel side by side in shared spaces in a safe and courteous style," he said. "We hope this success can be repeated in other strategic places across the island."

Sam Field

Pictured: Sam Field of Guernsey Bicycle Group showcasing a separate cycle safety initiative

During Bike Week, a few other safety initiatives are being promoted. The annual Safety Calling schools training project will include cycle safety as one of its key themes.

The campaign, which is aimed at Year 6 pupils, is organised in conjunction with local agencies and services, and promotes safety throughout the Bailiwick. 

Guernsey's motor racing legend Andy Priaulx has also spoken out in support of those who use two wheels, rather than four, to get around.

Posting on his professional social media accounts, the world champion racing driver said he also cycles and he "Kindly asks you to think about this new Ford of Europe initiative," adding that "none of us is alone on the road and you only live once." He also said "it doesn’t help to be agressive," while sharing the video below of a number of aggressive incidents involving both cyclists and motorists.

Mr Priaulx's post came just days ahead of the launch of the Guernsey Bicycle Group series of Tuesday evening social cycle rides for summer 2018. 

They start tonight, Tuesday 5 June, at Les Douvres Hotel and continue every Tuesday until the end of July. 

Mr Field said the rides are "suitable for any age, skill and type of bike," adding that "the rides are very social, a gentle pace (usually lycra free!) and family friendly for all ages, with between 20 and 30 people joining (including some as young at 14 months old!), with many people staying on for a pub meal or a drink or two at the end of the rides."

GBG summer bike ride 2018

Pictured top: Andy Priaulx




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