The On-Island Integrated Transport Strategy and Action Plan (ITS) was approved by the States of Deliberation in 2014. The Strategy is designed to achieve a 'modal shift' within the behaviours of the community in order to reduce the number of miles travelled in private motor vehicles in favour of walking, cycling and buses by making these alternative modes of travel easier and more attractive than at present. The Strategy also acknowledges that motor vehicles will remain the principal mode of transport in the Island because it is so convenient to use, so instead strives to reduce the number of journeys and miles of travel undertaken by private motor vehicles.
The current On-Island Integrated Transport Strategy represents the third transport related strategy that has been debated by the States in the last decade or so. The States had previously approved two other transport strategies, the first in 2003 (Billet d'État IV of 2003) and the second in 2006 (Billet d'État VII of 2006).
The 2003 Strategy targeted reducing commuter traffic impacts and relied heavily on paid parking as a key disincentive to private vehicle use and also provided the principal means of funding any improvements. It was viewed by some as 'demonising the car'.
The 2006 Strategy had a broader focus primarily looking at the antisocial impacts of vehicle use and sought to promote "freedom of transport choice" by encouraging the use of alternative forms of transport and discouraging unnecessary car use.
In order to create the 2014 Strategy, a working group was established who undertook several rounds of consultation including:
- A personal interview and telephone survey of travel habits and general views of 545 people selected at random
- 21 half-hour individual stakeholder interviews with various interest groups, transport organisations and commercial interests
- A Facebook student survey
- A consultation of States Departments by letter
- A general 6 week consultation entitled 'A Fresh Start' which resulted in 159 responses
- A small survey of Town shop workers (83 responses)
A summary of the outcomes of the consultations can be found in Appendix 2 of the Strategy.
The vision of the Strategy is "to facilitate safe, convenient, accessible and affordable travel options for all the community, which are time and energy efficient, enhance public health and the environment and minimise pollution" and aims to:
- Address the adverse impact of all vehicles
- Support and incentivise transport alternatives
- Reduce the dominance of the private motor vehicle whilst recognising the vital role that the private motor vehicle continues to have in society
There are also positive economic impacts from safer journeys, better energy efficiency, reduced pollution and enhanced health.
The objectives of the Strategy are:
- To reduce the number of vehicle journeys, particularly solo-occupancy trips - reducing peak-hour traffic by an expected 10%.
- To increase the number of journeys made by alternative forms of transport, particularly active travel modes, ideally doubling the number of people travelling by foot, bike and bus.
- To achieve a greater proportion of smaller motor vehicles, especially in terms of car widths.
- To achieve a greater proportion of cleaner, low emissions motor vehicles.
- To improve safety for all road users, particularly vulnerable road users.
- To improve transport accessibility for all members of the community, particularly non-drivers and those with disabilities or on low incomes.
- To improve the public realm, particularly in the main centres.
First Periodic Review
- The First Periodic Review [1Mb] of the On-Island Integrated Transport Strategy was published on Friday 27th December 2019, which sets out the progress made against the objectives.
- A number of key achievements have been made as a result of the Strategy. These include but are not limited to:
- Bus passenger journeys have increased by over 32% since 2014 with up to 1.95 million journeys expected to be recorded in 2019, representing an additional 470,000 journeys per annum (equivalent to circa 1,175,000 fewer car miles per annum);
- In terms of active travel, small data sets and broader proxies suggest an increase in people walking - possibly by about 25% - and in people riding bikes - possibly by as much as 50%;
- Surveys of people who purchased an e-cycle under the subsidy scheme in 2018 indicate a potential combined saving on car miles of up to 250,000 miles per annum;
- There has been notable growth in the number of low emissions vehicles registered, with EV registrations rising around 14-fold from a very low base at the start of the Strategy;
- Annual registrations of motor cars in Guernsey have reduced by 14.9% since 2014, to 3,451 with roughly 9% of all car registrations being 'small cars' which compares to 4% in the UK;
- There has been a modest reduction in the number of car journeys, including solo-occupancy trips, reducing commuter period traffic by around 5%.
- Improving Road Safety is one of the priorities within the Strategy, which is aligned with the Policy & Resources Plan / Future Guernsey Plan by creating a 'safe place to live'. Road safety is difficult to quantify, but it does appear that there has been a general, modest improvement in terms of statistics recorded by the Police as well as speed data in zones where limits have been produced.
- Transport accessibility has also been improved: measures aimed at making travel options accessible for people with disabilities have been prioritised, as have measures to make alternative forms of transport easier, safer and more convenient. In terms of financial accessibility, active travel and bus use remain affordable options, even for those on low incomes.
- The public realm in St Peter Port has been enhanced in several ways, big and small, and plans for further enhancements are in various stages of development.
- In summary, there has been some good progress made towards several of the main objectives, especially given the discrepancies between what the strategy seeks to achieve and the mechanisms by which it can do so.
- This First Periodic Review can provide a new baseline for future periodic reviews and inform means of improving the effectiveness of the On-Island Integrated Transport Strategy in the interim.
- Moving forward, there are a number of further possible initiatives that have been identified that the Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure intend to look into. These include improving access within the St Sampson and Vale Main Centre and Main Centre Outer Areas, reviewing (in a cost neutral envelope) the structure of first registration duty charges, reviewing options for introducing a workplace parking levy and a number of other matters that are detailed in section 6 of the policy letter.