Infrastructure Minister Kevin Lewis made the announcement yesterday, saying that King Street – which runs parallel to Broad Street – was becoming congested as customers queued outside stores. He added that the closure was due to be in place until the end of the crisis but that delivery vehicles would be exempt between designated times.
The minister also hinted at other similar schemes that would be implemented in St Helier but refused to provide details of these.
‘The first measure we are looking at is a temporary closure of Broad Street to motor traffic, except for commercial deliveries between specified times. It is planned that the temporary closure will start from Saturday 23 May – the beginning of summer half term,’ he said.
‘Broad Street provides a useful alternative to King Street which will become progressively more busy, having to accommodate increasing queuing outside its many popular shops. Broad Street also has the potential to provide for al-fresco areas for food outlets. Obviously we have been, and will continue to, liaise with St Helier and I am grateful for their continued assistance in rolling this out to other areas. I met with the Constable [Simon Crowcroft] yesterday and we were happy with the draft proposals and congratulated the team on the work they have done.’
However, Deputy Lewis added that he would not be going into any further detail on other proposals until consultations and feasibility studies were carried out.
He added that this was to stop his officers from being distracted by ‘premature’ questions from States Members and the public about what the schemes could entail.
But he said the Broad Street changes would go ahead without such planning and analysis being carried out, with changes being made if necessary.
‘As time is short and the need pressing, the changes to traffic management will, in effect, be rapidly prototyped and adapted as the need arises, or conditions change,’ he said.
‘We are in uncertain times. We cannot rely on traffic modelling to give us answers. Traffic volumes will be changing as government lockdown restrictions are reduced.
‘People’s reactions are difficult to predict but having a progressive programme allows us to tweak schemes and adapt as we work.’
According to the plans, the bus stop outside the government’s main office will be suspended and on-street parking spaces for disabled drivers will be relocated.
LibertyBus have said that routes 5 and 19 will be diverted along the Esplanade, through Cheapside and up Savile Street.