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Source: Channel Islands – Jersey

Hundreds of Haute Vallée students will be able to walk to school more safely following a decision by the Minister for Infrastructure, Deputy Kevin Lewis, to put in place a raised zebra crossing on St John’s Road.

The pilot, which will be installed in the second half of the summer holidays, will assist pedestrians crossing to and from the walking-only section of La Grande Route du Mont à l’Abbé, which leads to the school. Additional safety measures including a railing, initially temporary, and bollards, to prevent parking, will also be installed at the same time, in time for the start of the autumn term.

The concept was developed by the department in association with the St John’s Road – Road Safety Project Board, a community group set up to improve road safety along the length of the road. The Ministerial Decision signed by Deputy Lewis is part of the Government’s Safer Routes to School initiative and is in response to requests from the school and local community to improve road safety for children, parents with prams and buggies, and disabled pedestrians.

Deputy Lewis, said: “This pilot will be monitored to see if further safety measures are needed. In the medium term it is hoped that there may be potential to create wider road safety improvements in the area and this will be an ongoing review.

“Even though COVID-19 has delayed the progress of the proposals, installation during the approaching school summer holidays is being planned.

“I am pleased to see this initiative go ahead and I encourage Islanders to share their views on the pilot safety measures, which will hopefully have a positive impact for students, who should be able to feel safer when travelling to school, and benefit others crossing the road.”

Parents, students and members of the public will have a chance to share feedback during the trial via a consultation, which is open from the start of the autumn school term until 23 October. The feedback will help inform potential modifications of the pilot in the new year. Before the consultation starts, Islanders can get more information and ask questions on the Government of Jersey website

Deputy Inna Gardiner, Chair of St John’s Road – Road Safety Project Board, said: “The challenge of crossing St John’s Road to go to Haute Vallée School via the walking-only section of La Grande Route du Mont à l’Abbé has long been a concern for students, the school leadership, and parents. The Project Board passionately believe that improvement is urgently needed. The trial raised zebra crossing should make a real difference to the safety of hundreds of school children who use the route. I hope that you will give us feedback on your support or concerns about this proposal.”

The project is part of the Safer Routes to School initiative, which encourages walking, cycling and bus use to improve the health and wellbeing of children, encourage student independence and help to reduce school travel car congestion. The pilot crossing has the support of the school leadership and the Parish of St Helier Roads Committee.

The introduction of Safer Routes to School at other secondary schools have achieved proven benefits: the point closure of Rue de Maupertuis, for example, resulted in more than three quarters (77%) of 250 Le Rocquier students using the route feeling safer when travelling to and from school.

MIL OSI United Kingdom