Council To Introduce Car Restrictions In Hugh Town

hugh town centre summer

As some of you may have spotted, this was, of course, an April Fools joke and the Council are not introducing these traffic restrictions in Hugh Town. We won’t name the islanders who rang and emailed this morning to air their views..!

Thanks to Cllr Sims and Sgt Taylor for playing along with the joke.

The Council is implementing the same traffic management techniques tested in several European cities from next week, in an attempt to ease traffic congestion in Hugh Town.

In the past few weeks a number of solutions for tackling the increase in cars on St Mary’s roads, and parking problems in town, have been put forward.

But from next Tuesday, Chairman of the General Purposes Committee, Cllr Steve Sims, says cars with an odd numbered final digit on the registration will be allowed to drive in to town on odd-numbered dates.

And cars with an even numbers as a final digit will be restricted to entering town only on even numbered days.

This will apply between 8am and 6pm Monday to Saturday.

Steve says it’s the only way they can halve the number of cars on the road at any one time.

He says the planned Car Restriction Access Policy will mean the Town and the Quay is off-limits for most drivers for half of the week.

The new scheme will be in force from the top of the Strand, by the dairy and from the Parish Church.

The new rules follow Paris and Athens, where similar schemes have operated.

Drivers who flout the rules will have their cars impounded by contractors from Cornwall who will be paid on a results basis, although technology such as cameras could be introduced if the scheme is successful.

Sergeant Colin Taylor says the proposal should make a difference.

He says these types of approaches have been effective in larger cities and he feels that in such a small community as ours, it will be easy to implement.

Cllr Sims says the driving ban will apply to all motorists, whether or not they have quay permits.

The only exceptions will be the emergency services, Duchy staff and St Mary’s councillors because they might be expected to drive into town on important business.

Steve says he knows that might be unpopular but moving forward often means making unpopular decisions.

“That’s what you’re elected to do,” he says.

The new restrictions could mean that people who drive out from town before 8am won’t be allowed back in before 6pm, so they’ll have to park their cars on Church Road or at Porthmellon.

Sgt Taylor says there might be parking issues there but he expects motorists to be responsible and not block the road.

People should plan their journey, he says, or use taxis.

You can find out more about the restrictions in Paris here.

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