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Tunnel vision for Town seafront

Tunnel vision for Town seafront

Tuesday 29 March 2022

Tunnel vision for Town seafront

Tuesday 29 March 2022

The States will be asked this week to direct investigations into "taking traffic off the surface level of the road" along a stretch of the Town seafront - possibly by constructing a tunnel from the South Esplanade to the North Beach roundabout.

Deputy Lindsay de Sausmarez intends to submit an amendment today for her idea to be fully assessed by a development agency which the Policy & Resources Committee wants the Assembly to agree to set up at its meeting which starts tomorrow.

Her amendment is likely to identify the construction of a tunnel or underpass as one option and the area from the South Esplanade to the North Beach roundabout as a possible location but it would also give a development agency some flexibility to come up with the best way of reclaiming part of the Town seafront from its estimated 18,000 vehicle movements every day. 


Pictured: If the States agree to set up a development agency, Deputy Lindsay de Sausmarez wants it to prioritise developments which reduce the impact of traffic on the Town seafront, seen here during a traffic-free Seafront Sunday.

Deputy de Sausmarez last night told Express: "Visitors approaching by boat often talk about how they are struck by how stunning our harbour and Town are, so it would be wonderful to enhance that aesthetic and make the gateway between the two more attractive.

"The waterfront could have a completely different look and feel if it was no longer restricted to its primary purpose of being a vehicular thoroughfare. It might involve more green space, recreation areas, al fresco dining, public art, a promenade and spaces to relax, play or socialise, for example.

"There are so many potential opportunities – economic, social and environmental – and they could support a whole range of States' policies, from our tourism offer to retail and hospitality, energy, nature, climate change and health and wellbeing to mention just a few."


Pictured: Deputy Mark Helyar unveiled the proposals for a development agency on behalf of the Policy & Resources Committee several weeks ago and said he felt there had been widespread support for the concept for many years.

Under the proposals which the Policy & Resources Committee is putting to the States this week, land from the Bridge to the southern end of Town would be run by a development agency – a company owned by the States but with an independent board operating at arm’s length from government.

Unveiling the proposals eight weeks ago, the Committee’s treasury lead, Deputy Mark Helyar, said: “It will be a delivery vehicle, managing land assets on behalf of the States in the seafront enhancement area, establishing commercial partnerships and working with developers and the community to deliver regeneration projects.

“Its aim will be to maximise the value of States' assets to the community, including from commercial, environmental and social perspectives.”

The development agency would produce plans for the development of infrastructure along the east coast and work with private sector firms and community partners to deliver those plans.

north beach

Pictured: Deputy Lindsay de Sausmarez believes that efforts to reduce the impact of traffic on the Town seafront should probably concentrate on the area between the North Beach roundabout, above, and the South Esplanade. 

Deputy de Sausmarez has been consulting with the Policy & Resources Committee and the President of the Development & Planning Authority before finalising and submitting her amendment.

The Policy & Resources Committee is meeting today to discuss all the amendments faced by its development agency policy letter, which now run into double figures.

But its Vice-President, Deputy Heidi Soulsby, has already indicated her support for the amendment being drawn up by Deputy de Sausmarez, saying it would "add a load of value" and is "worth considering".

The development agency would have a wide-ranging remit to draw up development projects along the east coast. However, on the issue of taking traffic away from the surface level of the road, Deputy de Sausmarez said she wants deputies to "give them an affirmative steer rather than leave it to chance".

“This is the States’ opportunity to show the same kind of vision that our forebears had when they decided to modernise the harbour the best part of two centuries ago," said Deputy de Sausmarez.

"Like that decision, this is an opportunity that could realise benefits for islanders for generations to come. I hope the Assembly support it.”


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Posted by Paul Wood on
Another daft idea. Next week they will be going on about sea levels rising.
Posted by Mike Dowding on
Is this the same tunnel which will be continued to Jersey to accommodate the high speed train?
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