Ideas for the future of transport in Guernsey
The way that we travel in the future in Guernsey can lead to happier and healthier, lives. If we all embrace alternative approaches to how we get around the island then Guernsey can become a haven of sustainable, environmentally- friendly living.
That seems a long way off. We can all see that traffic in Guernsey is a problem. Our small roads have become more congested, and as our lives get busier it’s easy to see why we are quick to jump in the car, even for short journeys.
It seems like a tough ask to change behaviour, but Guernsey and the world’s recent lockdown experiences gave us a taster of what life might be like if we rethink our relationship with car journeys. The global response was a range of exciting initiatives to create pedestrianised zones, to make cycling and walking easier, safer and more normal and these are now becoming permanent arrangements.
So how do we get to a healthier, happier, more sustainable future?
There is no silver bullet and every step will count so here are a few examples of ways to make a difference:
The States of Guernsey is committed to an Integrated Transport Strategy to improve infrastructure for people travelling actively. The strategy encourages a range of initiatives and, increasingly, is turning its attention to physical changes to the highway to provide a better network of cycle paths and improved facilities for pedestrians.
Employers and organisations
The starting point is that organisations consider active travel as a part of their day-to-day operation – and not seeing car usage as the only option. An active travel plan can make active travel to, from and during work easier and part of their approach to improving the well-being of their team, and their green credentials. Practical examples include: Installing secure cycle parking; providing showers, changing facilities and lockers; having a pool e-bike for meetings during the day, and using flexible working to allow staff to complete an active commute or school run before heading to work.
Individuals and families
Switching short journeys to walking or cycling, swapping a few daily commutes each week for more active options, or using park and stride (driving or bussing part of the journey before walking the rest) are just some ways that we can increase our active travel. We don’t have to abandon our vehicles – swapping a few journeys for more active and sustainable alternatives will help. We know that 59% of primary school children would like to cycle/walk to school and urge parents and carers to consider this option.
Health Improvement Commission
Our Active Travel Officer delivers a range of projects to support walking and cycling, advocates for creating environments which enable active travel as a normal part of daily life. We have a particular focus on working with schools and young people, for example, we’ve donated our 70th balance bike to early years settings hoping that by the time these young children are ready to take to the roads they will have a safer and less congested environment. Our active travel initiatives will continue to remind Guernsey of how we can all contribute to a healthier, more sustainable community into the future.