‘Millions’ needed to make access to Waterfront safer

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Deputy Steve Luce ruled out turning the road into a ‘shared space’ for vehicles and pedestrians, but said it was difficult for people to make their way across the busy road and some had started taking risks when crossing.

He said the next Strategic Plan, which sets out the government’s core policies, should provide more funding for environmental measures.

The measures could mean red lights remain in place for longer, allowing pedestrians more time to cross, wider crossing areas and a change in how that area of town is connected to the Waterfront.

Deputy Luce, who has confirmed that he will seek re-election in May both as St Martin Deputy and, if elected, as Environment Minister, said he would ‘continue to bang the drum’ to ensure vital funding is in place for important safety improvements and environmental causes.

It comes as the minister seeks to withdraw and re-write the 2008 Waterfront Masterplan, which he described as ‘too constrictive’.

He said: ‘We have a lot of pedestrians and a lot of traffic in that area. I want to significantly upgrade that crossing to make it easier for pedestrians and cyclists to get across.

‘We are seeing an unprecedented amount of people on buses and bikes and walking – we won’t continue to see that unless we help people to safely travel in those ways.

‘We need to change the emphasis around the whole area to make sure public accessibility becomes a priority.’

He said that while he could not remember an accident happening in the area, he did not want to wait for one to happen before being forced into action.

‘There is no question in my mind that people are increasingly taking risks at that junction,’ he said. ‘Inevitably, if people keep doing that, an accident is far more likely to happen.

‘There is a lot of work that we want to do in that area and it will be millions of pounds.

‘That is money I don’t have at the moment but I hope that the Future St Helier project will come into some funds through the next Strategic Plan.

‘It will have to be a joint approach between us, the Infrastructure Department, Treasury Department and the parish. I would like to see some of those crossings addressed in short order.

‘Environment will never be top of the list when it comes to funding over the Hospital needing new scanners or new classrooms for the schools but I think ministers are beginning to hear my message.’

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