04 October 2005
A new focus on achieving sustainable travel and transport in Jersey is revealed today by the Environment and Public Services Committee. In a document entitled Turning Travel Around, specific transport issues and their possible solutions are identified and explained, along with options for funding new initiatives. However, the committee is now putting the proposals out for consideration and asking the public whether the issues pinpointed are the ones that matter most to them.
Along with the proposals published today, the committee promises to renew its focus on several fundamental transport issues: the bus service and the network will be reviewed, as will public parking, and traffic flow at congestion hotspots – such as Beaumont – will be tackled. But the committee is clear that it will need new money if it is to make a difference.
Senator Philip Ozouf, President of the Environment and Public Services Committee, said: “My Committee is serious about dealing with the transport issues that the Island faces. We want to focus on this as the next big debate for the public of the Island and the States. We have tackled other matters such as housing, tax and are currently dealing with the issue of solid waste, but now it’s the turn of transport.”
He continued: “To start to turn travel and transport around we will need new money. This is a matter that we want to put to the public – and to the States – as it is our intention to debate the issue early in autumn.”
Deputy Guy de Faye is leading the work on the sustainable travel and transport plan for the E&PS Committee. He explained that the draft plan started last year when several groups comprising members of the public were involved in a series of focus groups run by Highlands College. Their detailed views, coupled with discussions with other States departments and some parishes, have helped to form Turning Travel Around, which is being distributed next week.
Deputy de Faye said: “The plan will provide a basis for some exciting and innovative approaches to our daily transport choices. We have developed a whole range of proposals. Solutions could include developing safer routes to schools, more routes for cyclists, improved bus services and better ways of paying for our transport – which might even involve using our mobile phones to pay for parking.
”We are also committed to dealing with the big issues of parking in town and congestion at Beaumont and the Ring Road. We really do mean business and we want to set out a clear agenda, but we will need some resources to tackle these problems.”
Some of the initiatives identified could be implemented immediately, requiring a rolling programme of £500,000 per year for the next five years. However, any improvements will require investment from the public and the States. In the short term, this could be raised by increasing existing transport-related returns such as raising fuel duty and the cost of public parking. Importantly, this extra revenue would not go back into general revenue – it would be ring fenced for initiatives that will improve transport. Options for the longer term may involve raising money through an ‘environmental tax’, which could include a levy on private car parking spaces, a new vehicle charge or a carbon tax.
Copies of Turning Travel Around will be available from the Environment and Public Services Department, parish halls and the public library later next week.
The committee will take formal proposals to the States for debate later in the year. The resulting policy will set an agenda for the new Transport and Technical Services Ministry.
For more information:
Deputy Guy de Faye, E&PS Committee. Telephone 07797 722260
Senator Philip Ozouf, President, E&PS Committee. Telephone 07797 713838