Saying "it can't be done" is no longer a valid argument

I think that this is one of the most discussed and least actioned issues on Jersey.

Two sustainable transport policies and some token cycle paths seem to be the extent of progress to date.

Our current transport system wasn't designed, it evolved. The constant has been how to manage and facilitate the ever increasing demands of cars, vans and lorries on our roads. They are the apex of our system, leaving cycling, walking and public transport far behind.

This has created a culture defined by polluting traffic jams around schools, illegal 'jersey lifts' on social media, late night road racing, hysteria about closing broad street to through traffic and cyclists risking life, limb and lung health on our roads.

All the ideas are there, they need to be actioned.

Why the contribution is important

For all the misery and hurt that the pandemic has caused, it has shown that when urgent action is needed it can be done.

It was inconceivable in 2019 that international aviation could be shut down. But this happened in order to prioritise health over the immediate economy and manage a crisis.

Our transport system is overdue strong and progressive action to progress out of the vehicle domination that seems so locked in. 

Saying "it can't be done" is no longer a valid argument.


by brucecarnegie on February 15, 2021 at 10:19AM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.1
Based on: 8 votes


  • Posted by DannySEMoisan February 15, 2021 at 11:07

    Some very good points Bruce, successive political representatives have ignored the issues and will keep doing so, as it's not a vote winner.
  • Posted by TKHathaway February 15, 2021 at 14:20

    I would agree with the notion that 'we as a society have taken too long, to do little', I would not agree that '”it can't be done” is not a valid argument'.

    While most things _can_ be done, doesn't mean that they _should_ be done. If an idea is impractical, unfeasible, overly draconian etc. Then it is not going to fine the widespread general appeal to be supported by the States Assembly and be implemented by the Council of Ministers and Civil Service. Therefore it will not happen.

    If we do not make practical, sensible, well reasoned argument for specific initiatives that are tailored to Jersey that could realistically be implemented, then it is not helping to getting to a more environmentally friendly society.

    The fact we have often 'done little' is likely down to waiting for other people or government to 'find or implement a solution', when in reality action starts with you taking a small part of the problem and offering a solution, and thus helping us 'evolve' society. Evolution here is better than revolution, as it allows us to test ideas and processes in the real world and see if they work, rather than trying to 'design an all encompassing solution' that probably will never get created as there will be too many vested interests trying to influence that design.
  • Posted by brucecarnegie February 15, 2021 at 17:04

    Very reasonable points. In regard to my statement that "it can't be done" refers in the main to the notion that we can't stop or inhibit people from driving (and polluting) around the island. It would be perceived as an impingement on civil liberties. We do though stop and inhibit driving by closing roads and opening them as pedestrian only (King Street for example) or one way systems. So precedents are continually set for controlling private vehicle use. A real assault on civil liberties would be removing the right of movement itself, not the method of transportation.

    The "it can't be done" argument also has been consistently used as an excuse for inaction by citing the need to keep Jersey 'moving' to ensure a smooth running society and economy (getting the kids to school, getting to work and the shops etc)

    I believe that these arguments have been responsible for how our transport system has evolved to the state it's currently in, which costs money in road repairs, health issues around sedentary lifestyles and pollution affecting breathing and lungs.

    It's hard to ask people to take the bus or cycle when the system is stacked to using a car.

    And yes, agree that an evolutionary approach is needed to redirect us to a sustainable transport system.
  • Posted by brucecarnegie February 15, 2021 at 17:21

    I wonder when ignoring the issue starts to become a vote loser?
  • Posted by Jerriaisjanne February 15, 2021 at 21:05


    The only problem is since there are so many candidates, it's difficult to know who supports what (and none of them really every support anything, since there are so many independents that noone ever gives scrutiny unless it's JLF, Farnham or the Reform lot).
  • Posted by Jerriaisjanne February 15, 2021 at 21:12

    I concur with these arguments. We do have some challenges due to our existing transport system and our island's geography, but it's not anything unseen elsewhere.

    It's ridiculous that we have so many cars driving in and around our town centre. Library Place should be access only for taxis and deliveries and Broad Street should remain closed all the way to the Parade on a permanent basis. There's no real reason to travel down there.

    There should be more "Streets for people" type schemes. For example, roads near the Market could be closed and have outdoor seating for the restaurants and some benches, trees, chairs. Make a nice town centre. For example, the new set up around Gas Place is really nice. Good quiet for the park and café. Makes it easier for disabled people to find parking for the doctors and accessing the park and local residences.
  • Posted by Shanti February 16, 2021 at 17:41

    @brucecarneggie, absolute agree
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