A new report by the Government of Jersey is recommending big changes to improve public spaces in St Helier.
The study, which cost £129,500 to produce, says the ring road cuts off too many communities. It is suggesting better pedestrian access, more spaces for events and outside dining. Plus safer areas for children, including 'school streets' which would see exclusion zones around schools during pickup time.
There are also plans for more electric vehicles and bikes, greater access to bicycle storage and parking.
Jersey's Environment Minister says it is about greater clarity of what can be achieved, and "place-making" so that town feels "more comfortable".
We've got this dreadful road that fractures, tears the heart through the middle of the town, it's probably one of the worst planning decisions that ever was. But, nonetheless, we can manage it, we can manage it by the crossings and the soft landscaping that goes around it and try and calm down, there are things we can do.
The four main concepts of the report are set out as:
Bridging the Ring Road
Plans set out that the ring road will no longer "form a barrier to movement" but will instead become a "seamless part of the transport network" improving infrastructure for those who are walking, cycling and driving.
This priority includes connecting the Waterfront, Esplanade and Route de la Liberation, and connecting the wider ring road, including Rouge Bouillon and St Saviour’s Road.
An Active Travel Network
This aim is to connect residential communities with places of education, public transport hubs, retail, local leisure facilities and green spaces. It includes overall improvements to central St Helier’s north/south and east/west connectivity.
Growing a Vibrant Core
The study says development in this area would help reduce congestion on town centre roads and make active travel the most convenient form of transport. It could see on-street parking removed to make space for new "creative uses" and "retail activities".
Creating Liveable Neighbourhoods
The report says St Helier has "developed into a place where the car dominates". The concept of creating liveable neighbourhoods could see reduced speed limits and physical measures introduced to break up the "linear nature of streets" and allow for social interaction and active outdoor play.
The timeline of redevelopments begins with concept and design this year and runs to completion of all elements in 2026.
The plans will help inform projects as part of the 'Plan for Town' which will be a key pillar of the new Island Plan from 2022.