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E&I blocks major new events on the roads as it considers charging more

E&I blocks major new events on the roads as it considers charging more

Friday 15 September 2023

E&I blocks major new events on the roads as it considers charging more

Friday 15 September 2023


Environment has closed the door to any new major events that require major road closures until the end of 2024 at the earliest.

It is also investigating charging organisers more when that period expires.

The move means that next year’s Guernsey Rally has been cancelled, with organisers hitting out at the committee's decision.

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Pictured: Express has spoken with the organisers of the Guernsey Rally. You can read that HERE.

E&I has said it wants time to consult with event organisers, who already pay for road closures and signs when needed, about its potential new administration charging policy.

“It is unlikely with current workload and priorities that any significant work will take place on this review until later in the year,” said President Lindsay de Sausmarez in a letter to rally organisers.

“Therefore following the Island Games (which involved an enormous amount of work in terms of organising road closures) the Committee has decided that, for the remainder of this year and next year, it will not accept applications for major events that require a significant amount of administration time to organise and require multiple road closures.”

Any event that needs three or more road closures is affected and where there is a significant amount of administration due to public consultation and risk assessments.

She said that managing the rally, which drew criticism from some residents but attracted hundreds watching, took up over 200 hours of staff time at Traffic & Highways.

“This is the equivalent of one member of staff working on this for six weeks.”

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Pictured: Thousands watched events at the Island Games which required road closures.

The decision will not affect established events that require the same, or very similar, traffic measures each year. These include the likes of Seafront Sundays and the hill climb. All events that already have permission in place are unaffected and  Environment says that the “vast majority” of established events will still be able to go ahead during this period.

In a press release, E&I said that some that although some of the 150 events organised each year are straightforward with little administration time, there are a “number” which require “many  hundred of hours of staff time” to consider applications, review risk assessments and manage feedback from the public and businesses. 

It says this is especially the case for new events and events that may divide public opinion.

Deputy Adrian Gabriel, Vice-President of Environment & Infrastructure, said:

“Supporting local events is important to every member of the Committee and we recognise the value they bring to the island and community. However, what most people don’t see is just how much staff time and related cost is required to organise some of the larger events.

Deputy Adrian Gabriel

Pictured: Deputy Adrian Gabriel.

“Given the current budgetary challenges for the States as a whole, we need to consider the impact on our resources of applications for complex events, but we must not rush into a decision as we need to understand the effect of any proposals we make.

“Taxpayers are already covering the cost of facilitating these major events. So we think it is right to examine whether those benefitting from events should make a reasonable contribution. This will enable us to better target our existing resources towards carrying out vital day-to-day work, such as maintaining and improving our island’s infrastructure, and helping to meet government priorities.

“We want to continue to facilitate major events and we’ll be talking with major event organisers and other appropriate parties to move ahead with this in due course.”

READ MORE...

Disappointed Guernsey Rally organisers cancel 2024 event

Rally row residents maintain opposition

Error rocks future Rally plans

Rally application to go in shortly

Le Gouffre out for 2023 rally

OPINION: Revved up over the Rally

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