Client Weekly Update – Friday 9 December

Search for missing fishermen of trawler which sank after colliding with Condor ferry suspended

A search for missing fishermen has been taking place off Jersey’s west coast – after a trawler sank following a collision with a freight ship.

A Ports of Jersey spokesperson said search and rescue services ‘regrouped before first light this morning’ to consider how to proceed.

The 18-metre L’Ecume II collided with Commodore Goodwill off Jersey’s west coast at about 5.30am yesterday morning. The trawler’s skipper has been named as Michael Michieli.

The fishing boat sank at the scene, and Goodwill later returned to St Helier Harbour with visible damage to its bow.

An exclusion zone has been placed around the collision site, following a ministerial decision from Economic Development Minister Kirsten Morel, which prevents the passage of any vessels, diving, fishing, laying static gear or trawling.

Deputy Morel said he was ‘very grateful’ for the efforts of rescuers. “My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of everyone involved. We live in a close-knit community where the emotional impact of an incident like is felt by many Islanders,” said Deputy Morel.

A number of local and French fishing boats also joined in the search mission. Rescue boats, a helicopter and two search planes spent much of the day scouring the sea off to the west and north-west of the Island.

The Jersey Lifeboat Association’s Sir Max Aitken III also self-launched to help with the efforts. A spokesperson for Ports of Jersey said early on Thursday:

“A major search and rescue operation is under way in St Ouen’s Bay following a collision at sea. We will provide more details when we can.”

In a statement, Condor said: “Condor Ferries can confirm that its freight vessel, Commodore Goodwill, has been involved in an incident north west of Jersey. The ship departed Guernsey for Jersey at 04:41 this morning and the incident occurred at around 05:30. She was carrying five passengers and 24 crew and the Master remains in full command of the vessel. More information will be provided when available. All other Condor services are unaffected.”

New flights from Jersey to Amsterdam announced

Easyjet has announced it will be offering direct flights from Jersey to Amsterdam throughout next summer.

The new service is scheduled to launch on 1 April 2023, operating twice weekly on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Seats are now on sale via the website and via the airline’s mobile app, with fares starting from £24.99.

The new flights – representing easyJet’s first ever international route from Jersey to Amsterdam – also mark the start of a five-year agreement, which will see the airline base an aircraft in Jersey overnight from April 2023.

This will enable a new daily morning departure around 7am from Jersey to London Gatwick, meaning easyJet will offer up to five daily flights between Jersey and London from next summer and the option for longer day trips to London.

Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK country manager, said:

“As the largest airline serving Jersey, we are delighted to further strengthen our network with the addition of our new route to Amsterdam, our very first international service from the airport, and to be bolstering our connections to London Gatwick with a new early morning daily flight to serve our customers in Jersey with even greater connectivity.”

Ports of Jersey’s chief executive, Matt Thomas, described the new route as ‘a major milestone for Jersey’s connectivity’.

“Ports of Jersey has been working hard to expand Jersey’s connectivity with mainland Europe, and this route will not only strengthen connections for Islanders, it will also expand travel options for continental visitors wishing to visit our Island,” he added.

Economic Development Minister Kirsten Morel said the announcement was ‘another sign of confidence in Jersey as an attractive destination’.

“This is a fantastic announcement, providing more travel options for Islanders and visitors. Jersey needs an environment that supports a sustainable, vibrant economy, and a growing network of European transport connections will improve resilience, expand choice for consumers, and facilitate new opportunities for business,” he added.

The airline has also announced that its autumn 2023 schedule will go on sale tomorrow (8 December) with seats across tens of thousands of flights operating between 1 October and 30 November 2023 available to book early at lower fares.

Call to extend £20 unlimited bus travel

A scheme allowing under-18 students to receive an unlimited annual bus pass for £20 could be extended to all Islanders in full-time education if an amendment to the Government Plan is approved.

Deputy Carina Alves said extending the Avanchi18 scheme would encourage more people to use public transport, thereby supporting the Island’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions, while reducing the cost of bus travel for families.

The £20 cards were introduced following a successful amendment to last year’s Government Plan by Deputy Alves’ Reform Jersey colleague Deputy Rob Ward.

In her amendment, Deputy Alves said: “There are 1,473 students receiving Student Finance funding who would be eligible for the Avanchi18 card if this was extended to students over the age of 19 in full-time education at university in Jersey, the UK and abroad. There are a further 99 students studying at Highlands College who do not receive Student Finance funding.”

“There are 37 students studying full-time at Highlands over the age of 19 years on Level 2 and Level 3 courses. There are 148 students who are trainees and apprentices training at Highlands College and a further 320 trainees and apprentices registered with Skills Jersey.”

She added: “It must be noted that demand is still building up as more young people become aware of, and utilise, the scheme (and it should be remembered that this is a long-term change of behaviour). It will probably be some time before an equilibrium level is reached.”

The Government Plan is due to be debated at the States sitting beginning on Monday.

Work to legalise e-scooters in Jersey is under way

Work to legalise e-scooters on Jersey’s roads is under way as part of an overhaul of the Island’s ageing traffic legislation.

Despite being illegal to ride on public roads, e-scooters have become an increasingly common sight recently.

Their use is being trialled in numerous parts of the UK, but a recent report highlighted that 900 people have been killed or injured in collisions involving one last year.

The head of roads policing, Inspector Callum O’Connor, said that research was taking place as part of a long-term review of the 1956 Road Traffic (Jersey) Law – which is due to be updated to handle modern issues such as electric scooters.

He explained that officers currently use the ‘Four E’s’ approach – to Engage, Explain, Encourage and Enforce – when addressing illegal usage of e-scooters. The same method, which involves advising and educating those breaking the law before seeking to prosecute them, was used to handle breaches of Covid restrictions.

Under the current rules, e-scooters are illegal to be used anywhere apart from private land. They are classed as motor vehicles – meaning they need to be licensed, insured and meet technical safety standards set out in road traffic legislation to be used on public roads – although officers are encountering them being used unlawfully.

However, Insp O’Connor said that work around ‘how we legalise them for common use’ was taking place.

“If we are in a position to stop an e-scooter and speak to the user, we will engage with them, speak to them about the laws, explain to them that work is in progress to make them legal but that they are currently illegal. We would go down the steps to finally enforce – if someone is flagrantly disregarding the law then we will prosecute them,” he added.

A report by the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety examining the safety of private e-scooters in the UK collected records of over 900 people killed or injured in collisions involving an e-scooter in 2021. Of the casualties, which included other road users and pedestrians, nearly 40% were seriously injured and 12 people died.

Insp O’Connor said: “In Jersey the numbers of injuries reported to us through use of e-scooters has remained in single digits over the last five years.”

He added: “It’s a difficult topic because various councils and cities in the UK are trialling them and seeing issues with them – so we are looking at how we legalise them in Jersey, register them, make sure people have insurance. We are engaging with the Infrastructure Minister [Deputy Tom Binet] about how to move this forward and put some legislative framework in around the use of e-scooters.”

JE provision of charging points ‘ahead of demand’

There has been significant investment in electric charging points around the Island, according to Jersey Electricity. The company’s director of commercial services, Peter Cadiou, said there was ‘increasing demand’ for electric vehicles, ‘from both an environmental and cost perspective’.

Mr Cadiou said they expected that to grow, ‘hopefully in line with Government of Jersey’s Carbon Neutral Roadmap aspirations’.

He added: “We will continue to invest in the Evolve charging network to support the transition to clean low-carbon electric transport as demand grows.”

“Jersey Electricity has invested considerably in the Island’s electric-vehicle charging network and the infrastructure is ahead of current demand. Public charge points are strategically placed around the Island in convenient locations near local amenities and most Islanders are never more than 1.5 miles away from a charger.”

Average speed cameras in Jersey ‘a no-brainer’ – renewed calls for major crackdown on speeding

Calls are growing for the government to ‘get on’ with introducing static speed cameras in the Island. Constable Karen Shenton-Stone said approved propositions on the issue and enhancing road safety appeared to have been ‘shelved’.

Her comments came shortly after Vallée des Vaux residents Colin Lever and Tony Allchurch said that average-speed cameras – which capture a driver’s speed at two different points and are widely used in the UK – could crack down on speeding in the area while simultaneously freeing up police resources.

In 2020, an approved proposition from former St John Constable Chris Taylor called for legislation to be brought forward, enabling honorary police officers to use unattended mobile speed cameras – but the law remains unchanged at the time of writing.

And last year, a proposition lodged by Mrs Shenton-Stone – amended by then-Infrastructure Minister Kevin Lewis – called for a structural review of road safety in the Island, and was passed unanimously.

However, Mrs Shenton-Stone said ‘little progress’ appeared to have been made in relation to either objective.

“They [the government] should just get on with it. I know the Law Officers’ Department cite that they are overworked but it does seem that certain propositions get shelved,” she added.

“One of the biggest things that is brought up by parishioners is road safety. It should be at the forefront of every government [agenda] as it is something that affects everyone, no matter how old they are.”

St Helier Constable Simon Crowcroft said the introduction of speed cameras was an issue he had raised before, and that he was ‘frustrated’ that there was no mention of the topic in the Government Plan.

However, head of roads policing Inspector Callum O’Connor said average-speed cameras were ‘not the answer’, adding that they were more appropriate for UK motorways.

“The answer to speeding in the Island cannot be solely tackled by police officers stood on roads doing speed checks. There needs to be a longer-term solution. I think that is a combination of things,” he added.

“Firstly, education for motorists, then an overall cultural change across the Island regarding speed limits. Thirdly the introduction of different methods for speed awareness and speed reduction.”

He explained that this was going to include ‘cut-outs’ of police officers being placed on roads.

“That’s simply to highlight that speeding is an issue in an area and let people know that the [cut-out] will be replaced at some point by a real police officer doing a speed check.”

World Cup 2022: Quarter final stage

World Cup 2022 has reached the quarter-final stage in Qatar; the final is on December 18; Quarter-final line-up: Croatia vs Brazil, Netherlands vs Argentina, Morocco vs Portugal, England vs France

The 2022 World cup is down to eight teams. Football fans are in for a treat as the quarterfinals begin today.

Five-time winner Brazil, defending champion France, 2018 finalist Croatia, Argentina and their star Lionel Messi, England, the Netherlands and Portugal. Morocco joins the party, making its first-ever appearance in the quarterfinals.

Today it’s a clash of soccer greatness. In the first quarterfinal game, Brazil takes on Croatia. And that’s followed by Argentina and the Netherlands.

The marquee game on Saturday is England and France, with the intriguing Morocco and Portugal match earlier in the day.

Gareth Southgate faces a potentially defining task in Saturday’s World Cup quarter-final against France at Al Bayt Stadium.

He called it the ‘biggest test’ England could face at this World Cup. Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville says it’s the ‘game of a lifetime’.

No doubt about it, Saturday’s meeting with France is huge. Especially for the manager. His England side have thrilled on their way to the last eight.

Twelve goals scored – and by eight different scorers. But now it gets serious. The outcome at Al Bayt Stadium might well define their tournament. It might even define Southgate’s tenure.

His decisions, although likely already made – his assistant Steve Holland revealed this week that their plan to stop Kylian Mbappe has been two years in the making – have been debated endlessly.

Will he use a back four or a back five? Which of his wide players will be chosen to support Harry Kane? Will he break up the three-man midfield that powered England past Wales and Senegal?

The winner punches their ticket to the semi-finals. The loser heads home.

Kick off is at 7pm on Saturday evening

Le Petit Train seeks drivers for ‘one of the happiest jobs in Jersey’

Do you have what it takes to do one of the ‘happiest’ jobs in Jersey? For the first time in its history, Le Petit Train is publicly advertising for a new driver.

And those without a previous history of driving holidaymakers along a sea front should fear not – as the company can arrange to provide training for the successful applicant.

In the past, the company has relied on word of mouth in order to attract new drivers. However, owner Darren de Louche admitted this approach no longer worked, given the difficulties in recruiting staff in the Island.

He said: “I can imagine it’s one of the happiest jobs in Jersey. Every man, woman and cyclist is waving to you.”

When asked about the qualities the ideal candidate should have, Mr de Louche said: “They don’t need a full char-à-banc licence, but they need to be a calm and cautious driver, someone who is patient and motivated, with excellent people skills.”

“A Public Service Vehicle licence is needed to drive a coach or bus in Jersey, according to the government. That licence also applies to vehicles such as Le Petit Train, the drivers of which require a char-à-banc PSV licence. Training can be arranged for the right candidate”, Mr de Louche said.

He continued: “It could be people who are drivers who had had enough of it and want to get back to driving again. Drivers with a char-à-banc licence tend to be older. We’ve recruited just through word of mouth in the past. There aren’t enough drivers. Liberty Bus are struggling, so we thought word of mouth may not work. Two of our drivers have come to the end of their careers. While they’ve not left the team entirely, they’re only being called upon in an emergency.”

Le Petit Train runs along the shared-use track next to the Avenue between St Aubin and St Helier.

If you are interested in the position, contact

Wintry showers could hit Jersey at the weekend as temperatures plummet

Jersey could see a scattering of wintry showers this weekend as freezing conditions continue to grip the whole of the British Isles.

Temperatures are expected to rise to between 5°C and 7°C this week and fall to as low as 1°C at night. And Jersey Met says that by tomorrow there will be a risk of wintry showers. Conditions will be much more severe in the UK, where some areas are expected to see more than 10cm of snow this week.

The Met Office and UK Health Security Agency have issued a severe cold weather alert for England, warning that the plummeting temperatures could increase health risks to vulnerable people and disrupt deliveries.

The level three, or amber, cold weather alert was issued on Monday morning and warns of severe conditions in England between 6pm on Wednesday and 9am on Monday, December 12.

The alert requires social and healthcare services to take action to protect high-risk groups. Meanwhile, the RAC has advised motorists to check their vehicles are ‘winter ready’, with properly inflated tyres that have good tread.

The cold weather has followed Jersey’s third-mildest autumn on record, with an average temperature of 15°C – well above the long-term monthly average of 13.5°C.

It was also wetter than usual, with 305.2mm of rain falling from the start of September to the end of November, compared to a seasonal average of 282.5mm.

Market Update

European markets are mixed today. The DAX is up 0.40% while the CAC 40 gains 0.12%. The FTSE 100 is off 0.11%.

Yesterday, the S&P 500 gained 0.8% while the Nasdaq led the indexes, up 1.1%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 0.6%. The Russell 2000 small-cap index was in line with the other indexes, adding 0.7%.

Asian markets finished broadly higher today with shares in Hong Kong leading the region. The Hang Seng is up 2.32% while Japan’s Nikkei 225 is up 1.18% and China’s Shanghai Composite is up 0.30%.