Former senator calls for less ‘wickedness’ over beach access

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MORE landowners should allow public access to island beaches through private roads, a former senator has said.

Age Concern president and YEP columnist Ben Shenton lives on the Grande Route des Sablons in Grouville and opted to clear a route for islanders after several signs prohibiting public access appeared on other private roads in the region.

He said: ‘The only way for those living along the road to get to the beach is through the private lanes, some of which have rights of way. However, over the years we have seen an increasing number of these beach access routes closed to the public, either with signs or with barriers.

“It accelerated when there was the possibility that fields along the main road would be rezoned for affordable housing. Rather than being grateful for having such a good location, the landowners decided instead to ban public access to the beach.

In response to this, Mr Shenton erected his sign, which features black lettering on a bright yellow background, and reads: ‘Private Road’. Public use at their own risk. Unlike other grumpy landlords, we understand your need for access to your beach. Stay safe. Enjoy your day.’

Mr Shenton said: ‘The sign was simply to point out the meanness of others.

“The area from the Iceland garage to La Rocque is a busy road with few sidewalks.

‘It is a dangerous main road and the lack of Christian attitude shown by others could one day lead to a child losing his life because people are forced to walk along a busy main road rather than to be able to use a traditional cut. ‘

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