18 May 2017
Another Future St Helier project gets underway.
Following the successful trial closure of Charing Cross, from Broad Street to Sand Street, to restrict it to pedestrian access only, the existing road is being paved in granite setts by the Department for Infrastructure (DfI).
Work will include raising the area which is currently tarmacked to eliminate the step at the kerb edge, providing improved drainage, street lighting, as well as planting a tree behind the 'Toad' sculpture and providing more seating.
Maintenance work to the existing pavements will also be carried out, as well as minor changes to the pavements where required.
During the work, access to shops' doorways for pedestrians will be provided at all times. The project is expected to take 20 weeks to complete.
The road is designed so that limited service and maintenance vehicles will continue to be able to use it in the same way as King Street, but manual rising bollards will be installed to control access.
The unloading bays in Castle Street will be made permanent.
The DfI workers who have been carrying out the pavement works in Conway Street are moving over to this project, and being joined by Parish of St Helier staff.
Prior to the start, utility companies have been carrying out necessary underground maintenance works.
Charing Cross is a main walking route and an important link for cyclists between the town centre, car parks, waterfront and financial district.
Pedestrians and cyclists form 93% of the traffic using this narrow road. At lunchtimes 2,300 people have been counted walking through the cut, compared to less than 100 motor vehicles.
Closing the road will make the area safer for walkers and cyclists. It will also enable the space to be made more attractive and vibrant with alfresco seating, and to improve the public realm for commuters, shoppers and tourists while also accommodating business deliveries.
Minister for Infrastructure, Deputy Eddie Noel, said “This is a project I’ve taken a keen personal interest in, having witnessed pedestrians struggling along the pavements which are quite narrow in places. During the trial closure, it was clear that it was really of great benefit. I also think it will make a lovely public space extending the area from around the Toad.”