Proposed traffic scheme for St John's Road (FOI)
Proposed traffic scheme for St John's Road (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 21 September 2023.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
Please provide details of the governance and project management arrangements for the proposed traffic scheme on St John’s Road.
Please advise why this project is being given priority over other projects the government is working on.
Why are government resources being allocated to deliver this project when we have no cycle lanes out east that can be used?
The St John’s Road one-way experimental road layout trial affects both States’ Main Roads and Parish Byways. St John’s Road is a Main Road under the administration of Minister for Infrastructure, Parade Road and other side roads are under the administration of the Parish of St Helier and their Roads Committee.
The decision to carry out the three-month trial was determined by the Minister for Infrastructure and the Constable of St Helier in agreement with the Parish Roads Committee.
Following the trial, the Minister for Infrastructure will consider the resulting data and community engagement responses in liaison with the Constable and the Parish Roads Committee.
The project management of the trial will be led by the Department for Infrastructure and in liaison with the officers of the Parish of St Helier. This will consist of implementing the experimental road lay-out and managing a programme of data collection and community surveys prior to and during the trial, as well as ensuring that notice is provided to the community prior to the commencement of the trial.
Compliance with the relevant Road Traffic Law Orders and Roadworks Permits will be part of the management process.
The Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 gives a right to request information that is held in recorded form, unless exempt. This part of the request poses a question rather than seeking information held in a recorded form.
This information is not held, therefore, Article 10 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 applies.
However, it should be noted that the experimental road layout trail is being undertaken as part of business as usual, following an agreement between the Minister for Infrastructure and the St Helier’s Road Committee.
Parts of the eastern cycle network have been delivered including Grouville School to Gorey, Le Hocq to Le Squez via Le Rocquier School. Other routes remain actively under development. However, it is recognised by the Government of Jersey that further infrastructure development is required, hence a bid for dedicated funding for cycle infrastructure has been included in the proposed Government Plan 2024 to 2027 to support the delivery of the forthcoming Active Travel strategy.
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(1) Subject to paragraph (2), if –
(a) a person makes a request for information to a scheduled public authority; and
(b) the authority does not hold the information, it must inform the applicant accordingly.
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(a) the information is absolutely exempt information or qualified exempt information; or
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information or qualified exempt information if it had held it, the authority may refuse to inform the applicant whether or not it holds the information if it is satisfied that, in all the circumstances of the case, it is in the public interest to do so.
(3) If a scheduled public authority so refuses –
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Internal Review Request
With the greatest respect I don’t think responseto question A is satisfactory. Here we have a highway project which is costing the taxpayer tens of thousands of pounds and the response to the governance and project management arrangements is to say who had the final sign off of the project and who is managing the project.
I would expect detail on how risks are being managed, what delivery framework is being used over the life cycle of the project, who the relevant decision-making bodies are at the outset (pre-feasibility and feasibility).
There should be records kept on the decision making to commit public money for consultants and how this aligns with procurement frameworks.
I would also expect financial and commercial detail as to who is the sponsor for the project, what funding source is being used and how does this comply with the public finances law. There needs to be records on what the valid business reason is for pursuing such a scheme.
The project management arrangements should also detail who is responsible for the token public engagement activities to date and why they thought simply imposing this scheme on people with minimal opportunities for community feedback was a good idea.
I would also like part B reviewed as you cannot be telling me you don’t hold this in recorded form. There must be some sort of resource management within infrastructure. I will rephrase: What data and decision making is used to prioritise Government transport projects?
Internal Review Response
This review has been completed by two senior staff members of the Government of Jersey, independent of the original decision-making process.
The original response has been reviewed and assessed to identify whether any further information can be provided.
Following consideration, the Internal Review Panel noted that the information provided in the original response is an accurate reflection of the position, however, the following information provides further context.
The Minister for Infrastructure and the St Helier Roads Committee are the competent authorities with legal responsibility for the roads in question. As competent authorities the Minister for Infrastructure and the Parish Roads Committee can direct activities and expenditure on their roads as they see fit and have sign-off on temporary or permanent changes to their infrastructure, within legal constraints.
With regards to St John’s Road the Minister for Infrastructure has noted:
“This small stretch of St John's Road has long been a concern, as it's particularly narrow for two-way traffic and the pavements are also exceptionally slender. We want to see if the situation can be improved for St John's Road residents, and those who walk in the area.”
The Parish has indicated that it is in accord with this view.
The competent authorities agreed they wished to understand whether an experimental road layout could potentially provide the following benefits:
- reprioritise the streets to make them safer and more user friendly for pedestrians
- benefit local residents accessing their homes
- encourage people to use more sustainable forms of travel
- create an attractive environment that enhances local amenity
Further to this, it was agreed that “traffic levels will be monitored before and during the trial so that impact assessments can be made on the surrounding roads in this part of town as stated by the Constable of St Helier.
Accordingly, the implementation and monitoring of the experimental road layout has been directed by the Minister for Infrastructure and the Parish Roads Committee and is being led by officers from Infrastructure and Environment, in liaison with their counterparts within the Parish of St Helier.
Experimental road layout and its monitoring is of a scale that it is being undertaken by the department as business as usual, the layout itself having a similar complexity to a roadworks diversion.
The ‘St John's Road Experimental Road Layout’ is being funded from the Revenue budget. The work undertaken using this funding source is categorised as business as usual for the purposes of project reporting and therefore is not required to follow the framework(s) issued by the Corporate Portfolio Management Office (“CPMO”). This is stated in the Public Finance Manual.
“… Where a project involves a number of smaller projects which would not in themselves meet the definition of a Major/Strategic project (i.e., Infrastructure Rolling Vote) these will not be expected to fully comply with the Project Delivery Framework…”
The Public Finance Manual is published on the government website and can be accessed using the following link.
Public Finances Manual (gov.je)
The risks within the experimental scheme and the resulting data gathering are considered low and do not trigger any thresholds for any treatment outside of business as usual. The experimental road layout is to be achieved utilising rubber features that can be returned to stock as detailed in the previous Freedom of Information response linked below.
The monitoring equipment will go onto be used on other projects and have the potential to save the Government of Jersey money in the longer term over manual observations.
St John’s Road and Parade Road trial scheme (FOI)
The following factors influence when transport projects are implemented:
- Consideration of customer feedback
- Guidance from Transport teams experience
- Liaison with the Parish Roads Committee
- Improvements required regarding driver and pedestrian safety
- Guidance from the Minister for Infrastructure and other political steering
- Costs and budget available.
Any Ministerial Decisions (MD) carried out are published on the government website, however, MD’s are not required in relation to all transport projects.
There are different size transport projects, some of which are considered to be business as usual and do not require a formal Ministerial Decision to be undertaken.
It was agreed by the Minister for Infrastructure and the St Helier’s Road Committee that the St John’s Road experimental road layout trail would be undertaken as part of business as usual.
It should be noted that specific decision-making documentation, to determine the priority of transport projects, is not maintained for all types of work, therefore, this information is not held and the decision to apply Article 10 of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law 2011 is upheld.