A trial closure of a St Helier road is to take place to assess its impact before States Members vote on whether to create a public space to mark the 75th anniversary of the Liberation.
Plans were unveiled last month to create the new space by joining Liberation Square and Weighbridge Place as part of the activities to mark the milestone in 2020. However, after Deputy Jeremy Maçon lodged a proposition calling for the project to be halted, Infrastructure Minister Deputy Kevin Lewis made it a political undertaking to trial the closure of the road.
The temporary closure is due to start at 9am on 29 April and will be in place until 9 May – when the road will be closed anyway as part of Liberation Day celebrations. Closing the road for this period will begin to allow traffic patterns similar to what would be expected for the full scheme to become established.
As part of the trial, the eastbound slip road from Weighbridge Place towards the Tunnel will be closed to all motor traffic using a set of barriers placed immediately before the zebra crossing. The westbound slip road from La Route de la Liberation to the Esplanade signed as “Bus Only” will continue as normal. Traffic surveys will be carried out by staff from the Growth, Housing and the Environment Department during the trial.
Deputy Lewis said: “Following concerns raised after the proposals to create the public space were unveiled, I said I would make it a political undertaking to ensure there was a trial closure of the road to assess the impact on traffic and islanders before the States debated whether to halt the Liberation 75 plans.”
Signs will be put up prior to the temporary closure to inform islanders. Later in the trial buses will for discrete periods be stopped from using the westbound slip road and be routed through town to assess the impact on timetables and traffic. The route through town for the double-decker buses will be via Conway Street, Library Place, Church Street, Mulcaster Street and Weighbridge Place.