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E&I trial vehicle-free lane following request from airport

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Thursday 07 March 2024

Following an air safety concern raised by Guernsey Ports, the Committee for the Environment & Infrastructure has agreed to trial a new vehicle restriction on Ruette de la Tourelle in St Pierre du Bois.

Recent changes in international aviation regulations highlighted the concern that vehicles over 2.5 metres in height could potentially interfere with the signals provided by the instrument landing system (ILS), which in Guernsey is situated very close to Ruette de la Tourelle at the western end of the runway. As a result, Guernsey Ports asked the Committee to introduce a vehicle height restriction on the road to comply with this new regulatory standard.

Introducing a height restriction would have required the installation of a height barrier at either end of the lane, like the ones in place at the plane spotters' car park. Seeing as there are major road alternatives very nearby and the lane (which is very narrow and doesn't have a footpath or provide access to any properties) is not well suited to vehicular through-traffic, the Committee has decided to restrict access to non-motorised traffic only, which requires less obtrusive and less costly infrastructure. This will be achieved through signage and a bollard at each end of the road, which can be removed if there is an occasional need for vehicular access, such as for seasonal hedge cutting. Those walking or riding bikes or horses will still be able access to Ruette de la Tourelle as they can currently.  

The signage and bollards will be installed on Saturday 9th March. The timing of these works, and this new restriction, have been deliberately planned for this date to avoid coinciding with works being carried out by Guernsey Electricity near the airport.

Islanders are invited to comment on the trial, which will be in place for a maximum of 12 months from 11th March 2024. They can email traffic@gov.gg or write to Traffic and Highway Services, Edward T. Wheadon House, Le Truchot, GY1 3WH.

After the trial has been completed, the Committee will consider the feedback received before making a decision as to whether to make the trial permanent.

Deputy Adrian Gabriel, Vice-President of the Committee, said:

"When we were asked by Guernsey Ports to restrict vehicular access to this lane, we were concerned about the potential unsightliness and cost of the infrastructure that would have been necessary had we simply implemented a height restriction. By instead restricting access to those on foot, bike or horse, we can create something similar to a Ruette Tranquille without significantly impacting the journeys of people using cars, vans and HGVs, as there is a better main road alternative very nearby."    

Matthew Capazario, Head of Airside Operations, said:

"It is essential to safeguard instrument landing systems from any interference, as their signals are relied upon by aircraft landing into Guernsey. As such there are protected areas around ILS equipment and recent changes to international aviation regulations require these protected areas to be increased.

"We approached the Committee about introducing a height restriction on vehicles using Ruette de la Tourelle due to its proximity to ILS equipment at the western end of the airfield. We welcome the Committee's decision, which will help us to safeguard our ILS equipment and maintain compliance with advances in international regulations."

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