Deputy Rob Ward has lodged a proposition calling for the move, which, if approved, would bring about a relaunch of the green-lanes network, extending it to all parishes.
Under the current scheme, Jersey’s green lanes – designated small back-roads – have a speed limit of 15mph and motorists are advised in the Highway Code to avoid using them, with the aim of creating a better environment for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.
Deputy Ward’s proposition would create a stricter enforcement framework and tighter rules, which he would like to see introduced within the first three months of 2021.
His proposition calls for priority to be ‘given in law’ to pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders in green lanes and quiet lanes, as well as for vehicular traffic to only be allowed to use the routes ‘for essential travel’.
The report outlining his proposition says: ‘Too many green lanes are recognised as cut-throughs for traffic and become the classic “rat run” at times of day.
‘The emphasis on the legal requirement to obey priorities and speed limits
provides a stimulus for the behavioural change needed. An example is Vallée de Vaux in St Helier.’
It adds that the move would effectively create a cycle network for Jersey, in line with the goals of the Sustainable Transport Policy.
‘The gradual change of green lanes to a cycle- and pedestrian-friendly environment creates a cycle network across Jersey,’ it says.
‘As we emphasise the shift to more sustainable transport, we can increase cycle ridership and walking. It would serve as a stimulus for the development of more walking and cycling groups for all sections of our population.
‘The numerous health benefits from this type of activity is clear. We have an Islandwide resource that we are not using to the full.’
The Deputy proposed that funding for the required signage for an enhanced green-lanes network could be provided from the Climate Emergency Fund, which was launched by the States this year to support green initiatives.
Deputy Ward has continually pushed for Jersey to implement greener transport policies, having last year successfully lodged a proposition calling for Jersey to declare a climate emergency and aim to achieve net carbon emissions by 2030.
He and other States Members have recently pressured Infrastructure Minister Kevin Lewis to use the lockdown as an opportunity to develop more and better walking and cycling routes in Jersey.
This week Deputy Lewis said that his officers were considering closing a small number of minor roads in St Helier to help businesses.
Getting on two wheels has become a more popular pastime for Islanders during the pandemic, with a record number of people clocked cycling past a counter installed at First Tower.
Bike shop Big Maggys recently reporting a sales boom, while tech firm Evie’s e-bike hire scheme has also probed popular with nearly 4,000 Islanders signing up to use it since its launch in the spring.
Peter Hargreaves of Cycle4Jersey said: ‘Cycle4Jersey is delighted to welcome Deputy Rob Ward’s proposition to confirm on green lanes and “quiet lanes” the priority of pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders and that vehicular traffic should only be allowed there for essential travel.
‘We also welcome road signs explaining that on green lanes, pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders have priority. The proposition is welcome for a number of reasons.
‘It shows Jersey is catching up with other jurisdictions which, in the changed circumstances of the Covid-19 crisis, are reallocating road space to give a fairer, less polluting and safer share to non-vehicular traffic.
‘It will contribute to what we have been working towards for some time, a joined-up safe network for cyclists throughout the Island, including and linking up all parishes.
‘It shows by concentrating on the green lanes, that change in the Island can be focused on structures which we already have in Jersey and which therefore increases recognition of Jersey’s identity and shows the Island as a leader not a follower of change.’
Deputy Ward’s proposition is due to be debated on 14 July.