09 March 2015
New permanent skateboard equipment will be installed in the Millennium Town Park following a successful trial initiated last year.
Temporary skateboarding equipment provided by the Jersey Youth Service was installed in the ball court area of the park on a trial basis in 2014 to see if it would prove popular with the local skateboarding community.
Following a review of this trial period, a more extensive range of new equipment has now been purchased with the support of the Parish of St Helier, via the Youth Service, and will shortly be permanently installed in the park’s ball court area. The layout of this new kit will be discussed with the users themselves before being installed.
Designated skate area
At the end of last year, the States of Jersey Police, the Youth Service, Freedom Church and Transport and Technical Services (TTS) met to discuss the impact and use of the trial skateboarding equipment. It was agreed that, as a result of the designated skate area, calls for police to attend the area had reduced and fewer complaints had been made regarding anti-social behaviour.
Minister for Transport and Technical Services, Deputy Eddie Noel, said "There is a balance to be struck between creating an exciting, good-quality skateboarding facility for young people and ensuring that the park’s other users are not inconvenienced. In creating this new facility, following consultation with relevant agencies and the users themselves, I feel confident that we have achieved this aim. The Town Park is valued by the whole community and it has been our priority throughout this project to respect that."
Local residents' concerns
St Helier Connétable, Simon Crowcroft, added "I am pleased that long-standing commitments to include facilities for skateboarders are being honoured by TTS, and the St Helier Youth Committee’s financial assistance with the new facilities will be appreciated by its users. However, it is important that the message goes out that the front steps of the Millennium Town Park cannot be used for skateboarding as this is dangerous for passing pedestrians and road users as well as causing considerable nuisance for nearby residents."
Minister for Education, Sport and Culture, Deputy Rod Bryans, commented "Here is a good example of responding to young people's needs whilst being respectful of local residents’ concerns. It appears this provides a successful solution."
Although it is expected that the new skateboarding facility will be very popular, TTS will also be installing features at the Bath Street end of the park to deter any skateboarders from using that area.