From Mark Le Sueur.
MOVE the port complex? What a good idea.
There was never anything much wrong with the Elizabeth Harbour concept, bar the fact that modern logistic operations require space – space that has been gobbled up by housing, hotels, and a swimming pool.
If Jersey wishes to embrace the benefits of competition, which the existence of the Jersey Competition Regulatory Authority suggests it does, there must be space for two or more operators.
This means two or more berths, container parks, container handling (both around the dock and onto ships), freight groupage (cross docking), not to forget traditional warehousing. Maybe even a small industrial park.
Oh yes, and the public, be they in a car or on foot, will wish to use the docks. I fear that our political masters will be drawn to familiar pastures and forget that logistics is more than a logo on the side of the occasional truck.
Logistics is a fundamental cog in the fabric of local business; get it right and the potential savings to business can be measured in the hundreds of millions of pounds.
Yes, move the Elizabeth Harbour to La Collette, but get it right this time. A port needs space to breathe and adapt to vagaries of the economic cycles. But please do not repeat the Rue des Prés car parking master plan. A port needs wide, free-flowing arteries – the roads that feed the islands with its material imports and exports.