Forget electric cars, cycling is the answer, says Constable

JERSEY needs to be more like Holland when it comes to safer cycling and more money should be invested in making the Island bike-friendly, the Constable of St Helier has said.

St Helier Constable Simon Crowcroft
St Helier Constable Simon Crowcroft

Constable Simon Crowcroft recently brought successful proposals to the States requesting ministers bring in a new sustainable transport policy to identify safe cycle and walking routes by the end of 2019.

Mr Crowcroft, who has regularly campaigned for improved pedestrian and cycle routes, believes the States need to focus more on cycling and walking than electric vehicles and buses. Last month, Members rejected proposals from Deputy Rob Ward to make bus travel free.

He wants to see money pledged for certain projects so people do not have to ‘take their lives into their own hands’ when going out on their bikes.

He said: ‘I think the bus debate was useful but maybe the wrong piece of the jigsaw.

‘It is all well looking at electric cars and saying it will cut pollution, but it won’t do anything to cut congestion.

‘It needs to be cycling and walking they are looking at, and I have asked about this before – 14 years ago we put forward a cycling strategy for the area to the States and to this day we have not heard back about it.’

He added that Jersey could be ‘more like Holland’ when it comes to sustainable transport by creating safe spaces for ‘the whole family going out on bikes’.

‘Here when you get on your bike on certain roads, you are taking your life into your own hands when you do it.’

The States are now going to be looking at developing a transport policy to combat issues such as pollution and congestion.

It is not known how much money will be spent on it, however Mr Crowcroft added: ‘If there is a pot of money available then it would be better spent on cycling and walking routes than electric vehicles.

‘It would not only make it a safer place, where children could ride bikes safely along with families, everyone would also become a lot fitter because of it.’

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