A public survey to consult on the Isle of Man Government’s proposal to permanently change the speed limit on Douglas Promenade and surrounding streets has been launched by Michael Josem, the Liberal Vannin candidate for Douglas East.
Residents can complete the survey online now at michaeljosem.com/douglasprom
“Buried on page 27 of the Isle of Man Courier last week was a mysterious notice issued by the Isle of Man Government that the Department of Infrastructure (DOI) would ‘introduce a 20 mph zone on various roads in Douglas’. None of the affected streets are even mentioned in the newspaper,” said Michael Josem.
In May 2020, with the island distracted by the pandemic, the then-Minister for Infrastructure, Ray Harmer, suggested that it was possible for the Douglas Promenade 20mph speed limit to become permanent. Since that time, the DOI says no preliminary consultation has taken place until the secretive notice buried deep in the Courier.
“Making the Douglas Promenade 20 mph speed limit permanent might be a good thing. But it’s about time that we had elected representatives who are our representative to the Government, instead of the Government’s representatives to the public,” said Josem. “With the DOI failing to proactively consult with local residents, we need to fight for the interests of all of us. That’s why we are launching this public survey: so that residents can have their say, rather than just having DOI officers impose their rule on us.”
Residents can also have their say on how much the Douglas Promenade has disrupted them and how major intersections on the Prom should be managed. Responses to this public survey will be aggregated and communicated to the DOI.
An official from the Department of Infrastructure defended the lack of consultation with the public: “The statutory consultation requirement for such a proposal is prescribed in Schedule 2 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1985. This sets out that the Department must publish notice of its intention in a newspaper, allowing for a period of not less than 14 days for comments, representations etc. to be made. The advert has recently been published to start the ball rolling with the process and invite comments from those that may be affected. As I understand it, on this occasion, no preliminary consultation has been undertaken beforehand,” said the DOI official.