Around 35 people of all ages, some carrying banners, joined the demonstration to raise awareness about what they say is their ‘forgotten village’.
Since launching their Safer Sion campaign, the villagers say that they have been contacted by people in other parishes who say that more needs to be done to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists in their communities across the Island.
Mother-of-three Kate Sibcy, who launched the safety initiative after becoming increasingly concerned about the speed and volume of traffic on Grande Route de St Jean and the lack of adequate pavements and bus stops, said it was good to see so many people out. She added that they had had to keep numbers to fewer than 40 to meet Covid restrictions.
‘Sion is blighted by a road that is too busy and too fast,’ she said. ‘It divides those who live here and prevents them from accessing and enjoying local amenities and commuting to work and school on foot and bicycle.
‘There have not been many accidents recently because most people don’t risk walking to their local shop and instead drive, adding to the pollution and traffic. The lack of accidents doesn’t mean it’s safe: it means people don’t try because there are no safe crossings, unsafe bus stops and narrow, uneven pavements.
She added: ‘The traffic will soon increase with a new Co-op petrol station and shop. Local residents have clearly declared they want action by walking today, signing a petition with 350-plus others, applying car stickers, agreeing to drive at 20mph and writing to their politicians to demand decreased traffic speeds, safe crossings and bus shelters and a safe zone for cyclists.
‘These demands have emerged from months of consultations, listening and looking at what is possible. They are the cheapest, quickest and easiest ways to solve these problems and we ask that this community, on the fringes of three parishes, is listened to and made safer and healthier.’