Another big publicity blitz is started on Monday to remind residents and businesses of the road closures during the week of the NatWest International Island Games. The Post Office will deliver 3,500 leaflets to homes and businesses along and around the routes of the races on the west coast and in the western parishes. A further 2,300 posters will go out to all registered businesses island-wide.
Volunteers are putting up posters along the routes from today. During the Games week, the closures will be lifted as soon as it is safe to do so, and most of the races will be finished and the roads reopened within around five hours. The exceptions to this are at the south end of Rocquaine for the triathlon, and on the last day in Town and at Foote’s Lane.
Julia Bowditch, Games Director, said it was inevitable there would be some disruption, but she hoped that people would see it as an opportunity to enjoy the world-class sporting talent on their doorstep.
‘This is a once-in-twenty-years chance for people to experience their own unique viewing point on the races. We are welcoming islands around the world to our island, the excitement is really building, and we want residents to come out, cheer on the athletes, and soak up the fantastic atmosphere. It’s been brilliant to see the floral bikes popping up in the west because it shows that people are getting into the spirit of the Games.
‘However, we also must recognise that people living and working on the race routes still need to go about their daily activities, so we’re encouraging them to plan ahead. Please, if you live or work in the areas impacted, look at the leaflet or poster so that you’re familiar with the road closures and know the timings. Businesses might want to check their delivery schedules. Even outside the routes there is likely to be congestion, so motorists should leave extra time for their journeys, or perhaps consider alternative travel options.
‘We did a big publicity campaign about the road closures earlier this year so that people had plenty of advance notice to plan ahead. We are now within two weeks of the Games, so we thought it was important to remind people about the temporary closures. They are necessary in order to ensure the safety of competitors, spectators, marshals, the emergency services, and the wider public.’
The communication of the road closures started back in February when approximately 5,000 letters and leaflets were delivered to homes, businesses, and organisations that lined routes, or were close to the routes, in Torteval, St Peter’s, St Saviour’s, and St Peter Port. A further 2,000 leaflets were issued to community groups and charities.
In May, the 880 registered businesses in St Peter Port received another letter to remind them about what was happening. Earlier this month, nearly 1,400 letters went out to homes and businesses in the Foote’s Lane and Rohais area to let them know about the closure of Foote’s Lane on the last day of the Games, and the potential for road congestion during the whole week.
In total, there are three races that require road closures around the west coast and the western parishes. A further three races on the last day means that the Town seafront will be closed all day. Foote’s Lane will also be closed on the last day from 1pm because of the men’s football final and the closing ceremony.
During a road closure, there will be no vehicular access along the route. This means that residents and customers of businesses will not even be able to drive in or out of driveways and car parks.
Pedestrian access will be maintained at all times, and walkers are asked to take care. People can walk their pedal bikes along the routes.
At some junctions, which are marked on the leaflet and poster, vehicles will be able to cross over routes with the help of marshals. The emergency services will have their usual full access. Volunteer marshals, Guernsey Police, and Guernsey Civil Protection will be lining the routes.
Recently, a decision has been taken to also close Victoria Avenue for four evenings from 5pm till 9pm to coincide with the Guernsey men’s football matches and one of the semi-finals. However, this will not be a full closure because residents will still be able to drive in and out. Games volunteers will be hand-delivering letters to all properties in Victoria Avenue this week. Football fans have been reminded that there is plenty of space to park bicycles at The Track.
The road closures have been a massive logistical programme for the Games’ organisers and volunteers. The Games organising committee has worked closely with the sports, States Traffic & Highway Services, JESCC, Guernsey Harbours, and douzaines, to try to minimise the inconvenience. Business organisations, community care teams, private care agencies, and relevant charities, have all been given advance notice.
The Health Improvement Commission will soon be launching its active travel plan for the Games. The buses are free throughout the week and CT Plus will be publishing the list of Games diversions. Park and stride points will be set up around Town and cycle parks are being extended. Where possible, employers have been asked to consider allowing their employees to work from home.
Local athletes are looking forward to competing on home soil. Gary Wallbridge, the Cycling Coordinator for Guernsey2023, has been involved with the Games since 1987. He hopes that the whole island will be buzzing when it plays host to the world-class sporting events:
“It is so exciting to welcome the Games back to Guernsey for a third time. As the years roll by the quality of competition continues to rise and the cycling competitions will be packed with high-level cyclists from the visiting islands, we can’t wait to welcome them all to Guernsey next month.’
Information including maps of the routes and timings are on the Games website at guernsey2023.gg
Details of the dates and times of the road closures are listed below:
Opening Ceremony Saturday 8 July – St Peter Port seafront - Road closures 4.00pm-9.00pm
The opening ceremony will start after 6pm on Saturday 8 July. Teams will assemble on North Beach and there will be a parade to the Albert Pier. Spectators are encouraged to come along and cheer on the teams from 5pm. The seafront will be closed from 4 – 9pm, including part of the Weighbridge Roundabout from around 6.30pm.
Triathlon Sunday 9 July – St Peter’s, Torteval and St Saviour’s - Road closures 8.00am-5.30pm
The race will start at 11.50am with the swim at Rocquaine Bay. The cycle will be on a triangular circuit along Route de Pleinmont, Rue des Laurens, Rue du Manoir, Route de Plaisance, Route du Longfrie, Route des Paysans, Route des Adams and Route des Rocquaines. The run will be from Route de la Lague towards the Pezeries. Rue du Portelet and Route de la Lague will be closed from 8am until 5.30pm with the closure of all the roads on the route from 11.30am-4pm.
Cycling Time Trial Monday 10 July – West Coast and St Peter’s - Road closures 9.00am until 1.00pm
The time trial starts outside the old L’Eree hotel at 9.30am. The route goes out towards The Imperial Hotel before turning and heading along the West Coast as far as the Puffin and Oyster. The route then returns to L’Eree and finishes near the Longfrie filter. All roads on the route will be closed from 9.00am. The routes will be fully marshaled throughout. The roads will be fully reopened from 1pm.
Cycling Road Race Wednesday 12 July – St Peter’s, Torteval and St Saviour’s - Road closures 8.30am until 2.45pm
The route will be on the same triangular circuit as the triathlon. The race will start along Route de Pleinmont, Rue des Laurens, Rue du Manoir, Route de Plaisance, Route du Longfrie, Route des Paysans, Route des Adams and Route des Rocquaines with an added circuit going up Route du Coudre. There will be limited access to La Houguette School till 8.45am and the school will work with parents regarding school drop off. The first section of the course will reopen to residents at approximately 1.45pm with all roads fully open by approximately 2.45pm except the area around St Peter’s Church which will remain closed until 3.45pm.
St Peter Port seafront Friday 14 July – Town seafront – Road closures 5.00am-8.00pm
The half marathon, cycling criterium and triathlon relay will all take place in Town on Friday 14 July. The seafront will be closed from North Esplanade to La Vallette. Parking in the following areas will be suspended from midnight Thurs 13th until 8pm Fri 14th July: La Vallette, Castle Emplacement, Les Echelons, South Esplanade, Albert Pier, Le Petit Carrefour, Church Square, Church Hill, Crown Pier, La Tourgand, Lower Pollet and Le Truchot (between Taxi Rank and Sir William Place)
Victoria Avenue There will be football at The Track on Sunday 9, Monday 10, Tuesday 11 and Thursday 13 July with kick-offs at 2.30pm and 6.30pm. Victoria Avenue will be closed on these days from 5pm-9pm.
Footes Lane - Friday 14 July – Road closure 1.00pm-00.00am. The men’s football final will be held at 3.30pm, the closing ceremony will be held from 8pm, with an event for athletes from 9.00pm-11.30pm. The road will be closed from 1.00pm until midnight. Footes Lane car parks will be closed all day, except to permit holders. Details for pick-ups for the Guernsey Grammar School & Sixth Form Centre will be issued.