Guernsey is the second largest of the Channel Islands. It is part of the Common Travel Area, allowing passport-free travel to and from the United Kingdom or Jersey. Travel to and from mainland Europe requires a passport or an EU national identity document. Non EU citizens may need a visa.

This article includes some references to Alderney and Sark, which are part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey.

Road transport

Ruette Tranquille sign
Ruette Tranquille sign

Traffic in Guernsey drives on the left. Roads are generally narrow, with an all-island speed limit of 35 miles per hour (56 km/h), however lower speed limits apply on certain roads. Motor tax was abolished in Guernsey from 1 January 2008. There are seven taxi ranks in St Peter Port. Vehicle registration plates in Guernsey carry between one and five numerals only; the international identification sticker/plate is "GBG".

Most road markings are the same as the UK, with the exception of:

Buses

CT Plus Guernsey Bus
CT Plus Guernsey Bus
Former Guernsey bus - now preserved UK
Former Guernsey bus - now preserved UK

Bus services are operated by CT Plus Guernsey on behalf of the Environment Department of the States of Guernsey (the island's government). They are branded as Buses.gg. Vehicles used are based on buses used in the UK but with a slightly narrower construction, to allow them to circulate on the island's narrow roads, legal limit 2.31 metres (7' 6¾"). A number of narrower (and shorter) StreetVibe buses were due to be on the roads from May 2017.[1]

All bus fares have a fixed price of £1 per journey, irrespective of distance travelled. Passes covering unlimited travel for a day or more and family travel passes are available. They are called the puffin pass. 1.65m journeys were taken in 2016.[2]

Private hire coaches and coach tours are available from Intransit, Island Coachways and Island Taxis.

Cycling

Cycling is encouraged in Guernsey. Although there are currently few cycle lanes on main roads, the Ruettes Tranquilles provide safer and more pleasant cycle-friendly roads. The States of Guernsey provides details of cycling laws and recommendations for safety as well as details of cycle hire businesses. Sark is a popular cycle-friendly island.

Taxis

Guernsey has a regulated, licensed taxi service based at three ranks in central St Peter Port, St Sampson's (at 'The Bridge') and at Guernsey Airport. Taxis can also be called or phoned.

Accessible taxis capable of transporting a wheelchair passenger and with improved lighting to assist people who may have a visual impairment are available.

Visit Guernsey website has a list of taxi operators.

Petit Train

A "Petit Train" called "Victor" transports people around St Peter Port throughout the summer months.

Carbon output

With effect from 2030 the sale of new combustion engine cars will be banned, this forms part of the net-zero climate change plan.[3]

Air transport

Guernsey Airport is located 3 miles (5 km) south-west of St Peter Port, the island's capital. Airlines operating scheduled services to and from Guernsey are Aurigny (owned by the States of Guernsey) and Blue Islands year round. British Airways will operate a seasonal summer service to London City Airport which is operated by its subsidiary BA CityFlyer. It had previously done in 2021.[4]

Alderney Airport has regular scheduled flights to Southampton and Guernsey operated by Aurigny.

Both airports have private aircraft facilities and annual air rallies.

Maritime transport

Main article: Maritime history of the Channel Islands

Condor Ferries operate services to Poole and Portsmouth in England, Cherbourg and St Malo in France, and to Jersey. Condor Ferries became the main operator to the UK following the closure of British Channel Island Ferries in 1994. Previously Sealink (and its railway ferries predecessors) had been the main operator for many decades. Freight goes on a traditional ferry via Portsmouth.

The French company Manche Îles Express operates a summer passenger-only ferry service between Guernsey and three small ports in Normandy, France: Barneville-Carteret, Diélette and Granville. Not every port is served daily.

The Isle of Sark Shipping Company operates small ferries to Sark. The service takes 45 minutes for the 9 miles (14 km) crossing.

Bumblebee offered seasonal transfers from Guernsey to Alderney until the service ceased late 2015.[5]

Travel Trident provides small ferries for the 20 minute ride to Herm.

Alderney Shipping operates freight routes between Poole, Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney.

Railways

Alderney

Main article: Alderney Railway

The Alderney Railway provides a rail link of approximately two miles, with a regular timetabled service during the summer months and at seasonal festivals including Easter and Christmas. It is now the only working railway on the Channel Islands to provide a public transport link. It is also one of the oldest railways in the British Isles, dating from 1847, and carried Queen Victoria and Prince Albert as the first 'official' passengers in 1857.[6]

There is also a 7+14 in (184 mm) gauge miniature railway on Alderney, which operates during the summer months.[7]

Guernsey

Main article: Rail transport in Guernsey

There are currently no railway services on Guernsey. The Guernsey Railway, which was virtually an electric tramway, and which began working on 20 February 1892, was abandoned on 9 June 1934. It replaced an earlier transport system which was worked by steam, and was named the Guernsey Steam Tramway. The latter began service on 6 June 1879 with six locomotives.[8]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Narrower buses from May". Guernsey Press. 12 April 2017.
  2. ^ "Number of bus passengers reaches record high in 2016". Guernsey Press. 12 January 2017.
  3. ^ "Island follows UK in cutting combustion". Guernsey press. 25 November 2020.
  4. ^ "Summer flights return from the Channel Islands to London City Airport". 13 January 2022.
  5. ^ "Bumblebee calls it a day on Alderney ferry service". Guernsey Press. 12 February 2016.
  6. ^ See references at the Island tourist website.
  7. ^ See miniature railway webpage here.
  8. ^ Notes on the Railway taken from The Railway Magazine, September 1934 edition