blank
 
 

 

blank

Driving in St Helena

Keep left…almost always

blank

Speed has never killed anyone. Suddenly becoming stationary; that’s what gets you.
Jeremy Clarkson

If you’re here for a few days or less you can take a tour. Otherwise you’ll need to drive.

This page is in indexes: Island Activity, Island Detail

Driving in St Helena Saint Helena Island Info

Below: Your vehicleRules and conventions of the roadSpeed BumpsIf you break downWant to be mistaken for a local?A few ‘fascinating facts’Just to be serious for a moment…How it all beganHow we scrap carsJamestown Parking Proposals, November 2016And finally…Read More

Please note: the following is a light-hearted view of driving and car hire on St Helena. In particular please note that if you want to faithfully observe all the rules of the road you need to buy a copy of the Highway Code{1}. Most drivers don’t bother.

Your vehicle

As an experienced world traveller you are doubtless used to hiring cars. But whether you prefer Hertz, Avis, Budget or some other company, don’t bother trying to book your St Helena car from them. All car hire on St Helena is done by small local businesses, and even by individuals. You may not get the latest model but you can be assured of friendly and personal service, and that counts for rather a lot!

If you contact the Tourist Office in advance of your visit you may be able to pre-book one of the more modern vehicles - one made in the last 10-15 years or so. When you collect your vehicle upon arrival check merely that it has four wheels fitted with reasonably sound tyres, at least one opening door (unless you are good at crawling in through the window) and the other essential features - working brakes, some lights, etc. Treat everything else as optional.

If your vehicle has air conditioning, switch it off and open the windows instead - you’ll save loads of fuel and it makes it easier to chat to pedestrians or other drivers as you pass them. Cars on St Helena do not have to conform to exhaust emission standards; if these were ever introduced 95.7% of the vehicles would need to be scrapped immediately, so don’t be surprised if your departure leaves a cloud of smoke to mark where you previously were. And it does sometimes rain on St Helena, so if you anticipate rain during your visit make sure your vehicle has at least one working windscreen wiper or obtain a cloth and a piece of stick. Also make sure it has at least some fuel in it. Some car renters provide a map, but if not you can buy one from the Post Office in Jamestown. Then load in your bags and you’re ready to go!

Rules and conventions of the road

Below: BasicsOther subjects raised in the Highway CodeMore advanced drivingRush Hour

More about the origins of Jamestown’s roads on our Roads.

Basics

The first, and by far the most important rule, and also one that will not come naturally to you at first so you will need to practice, is that you must wave at every passing driver or pedestrian you encounter. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know who they are, and they wiil have no idea who you are either. Always wave. This is an absolute and must be obeyed, even if you ignore every other rule of the road{2}.

Keep Left? Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena
Keep Left?

In St Helena we drive notionally on the left. This means that in the few roads where there is width enough for cars to pass, you should pass on the left of the oncoming vehicle. But as 95% of our roads are single-track, most drivers stick to the middle and only move over if they encounter an oncoming vehicle (the rules for this are explained below).

30mph Limit Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena

The maximum speed you are permitted to achieve anywhere on the island is 30mph. But in Jamestown, most of Half Tree Hollow and several other places the limit is 20mph. Do not expect these restrictions to be signposted - they often are not. Speed signs are erected at random across the island. The presence of a sign indicates a speed restriction, but the absence of a sign does not mean there is no restriction - just simply that there wasn’t enough spare budget for a sign. If you read the Highway Code{1} you will discover that there is a 15mph limit between the Chapel and Blarney Bridge and a 20mph limit between Longwood Gate and the water tank, which is not much help if you don’t know where any of these places are. So to avoid falling foul of the Police the best bet is to stick to 20mph everywhere. That way you can also enjoy the scenery while driving. Don’t worry that you might delay somebody - they’re used to it (also see notes about overtaking under ‘More advanced driving’ below); for some St Helena drivers even 20mph is wildly excessive. Don’t forget that there is no point in being anywhere on time! And beware of the speed bumps in Jamestown.

Wainwright Way at Cook’s Bridge February 2016 Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena
Even the ‘Haul Road’ has a 30mph speed limit! (shown: ‘Wainwright Way’ at Cook’s Bridge, February 2016)

Wrecked car Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena

Do not crash into anything. That may sound obvious but Police practice here is to ignore most driving offences unless you crash. Then they arrive, breathalise everybody in a two mile radius and prosecute all the drivers/pedestrians/animals/etc. vaguely involved. So it’s best to avoid collisions at all costs, even ones that are not your fault.

In a single-track road (i.e. on 95% of the roads you will travel) the rule about giving way is simple - the car descending the hill gives way to the car ascending the hill. What happens on a flat road? you ask? Well if you can find a piece of flat road on St Helena please contact us. Giving way involves reversing backwards to an official passing place, or to somebody’s driveway, or to a place where there is a wide grass verge, or if necessay all the way to the road junction you passed twenty minutes earlier. And don’t assume that if the ascending vehicle is just past a passing place and you’re a long way from one that the driver will take pity on you; they might but they probably won’t. They’re not being awkward, it’s just instinct to check if you are ascending or descending and act accordingly, with no other factors considered. And don’t be surprised if the other vehicle dives into a passing place on the wrong side of the road, forcing you to pass on the right; left and right are, after all, relative terms.

Descending traffic gives way Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena
Descending traffic gives way
NB: this is Frenchman’s Turning

Jean Gurr and the nice police officer:
Jean Gurr and the nice police officer Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena
Ignore double-yellow lines:
Ignore double-yellow lines (1) Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena
Ignore double-yellow lines (2) Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena
Don’t park at the seaside
Don’t park at the seaside Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St HelenaLadder Hill Road
Ladder Hill Road Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena

MPH

KPH

30

48

20

32

15

24

10

16

Parking sign in Jamestown Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena

Considerate parking Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena

Paul Mark Gunnell of Varneys was fined £5.00 plus costs of £6 after having pleaded guilty of careless cycling.{3}{a}

There are very few flat roads on St Helena, so when parking always securely apply the handbrake and, in case that doesn’t work (which is probable) also leave the car in gear (1st Gear if facing up the slope; Reverse if facing down). Otherwise you could end up talking to a nice police officer like former Governor’s wife Jean Gurr (Photo, left) who was given a verbal warning for not pulling the handbrake whilst parked on a gradient (there was no suspicion of alcohol).

Expect the unexpected. If rounding a blind corner, do not assume that nobody will be parked half way across the road on the other side, even if to park there would be completely stupid and bordering on insane. Expect to encounter stray dogs, cats, chickens, pheasants, donkeys, cows etc. in the middle of the road. If you encounter a Mynah bird in the road it is acceptable to swerve to try and run it over, but you must avoid running over Peaceful Doves and definitely never flatten Wirebirds.

You may encounter two cars stationary and blocking the road while their drivers have a chat. You should wait patiently for the conversation to finish. You may want to switch off your engine, to save fuel. If you have food on board treat this as an opportunity for a picnic. Whatever you do don’t hoot at them and/or make angry gestures - they won’t have the faintest idea what you’re getting so irate about and so you will end up raising your blood pressure to no effect. (See also Jane Durnford’s comment in the St Helena Sentinel.)

When parking your vehicle, try to leave enough road for another vehicle to squeeze past. This is optional, but is considered a courtesy. If you can’t find such a place, park wherever it is most convenient for you; if someone wants to get past they will track you down and politely ask you to move your vehicle. In general, ignore such things as double-yellow lines, park wherever you fancy and you will be assumed to be a local. But if parking in Main Street, Jamestown observe the rules (see photo, right and article, below) - if you can figure out what they mean.

Your horn is not for warning other road users of your approach, whatever it may say in the Highway Code. It is an alternative to waving, where for example your waving hand is occupied with your cigarette, apple, drink can, etc. Some drivers also sound the horn whenever they encounter a corner. It can be used to warn traffic that you are about to reverse blind into the road and it also has other meanings, including you look good in that skirt.

The island has many buses. You would expect, therefore, that it would have bus stops - places reserved where a bus can pull off the road to load and unload passengers. This is not the case. Buses stop wherever they want to. Blind bends and narrow parts of the road where there is no room to pass are particular favourites. Do not be surprised or upset by this; wait patiently until the bus has finished loading/unloading and chatting to a passing pedestrian and moves off. Also be aware that buses are often an exception to the passing rule (above) and will assume right of way because they are larger than you.

Your rental vehicle will probably contain a notice saying you must not park it at the Seaside. This doesn’t mean you can’t visit Sandy Bay. The Seaside is the area in Jamestown stretching from Donny’s Bar to The Wharf. If you park there in rough seas the waves will spray your car with salt water and speed up the rusting process. (We don’t keep our classic cars running here without a few precautions!)

If following a lorry or other delivery vehicle up a hill, keep well back. The load is unlikely to be well secured and you need time to swerve round the cans, vegetables, washing machines or two tonne rocks that may suddenly descend on you.

Beware of vehicles bearing a number plate beginning with the letters ‘SHG’. These are government vehicles, so they really do own the road!

A heart-warming talea true story illustrating that St Helena drivers really are polite.

Driving off the mini-roundabout in Jamestown and heading down towards Grand Parade a woman has to brake because a car suddenly pulls out into the road ahead of her. Instinctively she hoots her horn.

You might expect rude gestures or even an in-the-street argument, but instead the drivers exchange waves. And when she arrives at work her ‘phone rings and it’s the other driver, calling to apologise for not looking before pulling out.

Only in St Helena…!

Roads out of Jamestown (Ladder Hill left; Sidepath right) Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena
Roads out of Jamestown (Ladder Hill, left; Sidepath, right)

Other subjects raised in the Highway Code

The Highway Code{1} makes for interesting reading. Apart from the speed limits, mentioned above, you can also learn that you should:

Drive carefully and slowly…near a cinema during closing time (Rule 33)

The last cinema on St Helena closed in the 1980s

Before riding a horse on the roads, make sure you can control it in traffic (Rule 84)

There have been no horses on the island since the 1980s

The ‘Fog Code’ (Rule 32) advises to slow down in fog, but under Overtaking (Rule 45) it just says to be particularly careful at dusk and in fog or mist

‘Use of the Horn’ (Rule 67) says you should not use your horn when parked unless there is danger due to another vehicle moving, but Road Traffic Regulation (1985) 22 says that before driving you must ensure that your horn is in working order

How one is supposed to achieve these is not explained

Road Traffic Regulation 38 says that before driving you must ensure that your speedometer is in working order

Three out of four pedestrians hurt or seriously injured are either under 15 or over 60 (Rule 34)

Actually three out of four people on St Helena are either under 15 or over 60

Highway code illustration Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena

There are also some useful diagrams at the back illustrating the use of a vehicle’s lights, but as these are reproduced in black-and-white they don’t make a lot of sense.

The Highway Code was, it says, last revised July 1987.

Steep Road Ahead sign Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena
This sign puzzles us. Why erect it here? Surely this applies to half the roads on the island? Why not erect just one sign, down at the wharf, to apply globally across the island?

More advanced driving

Car out of control Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena

Overtaking will almost certainly never be necessary but if you’re determined to try it (even in fog, apparently), pass on the right of the vehicle you are overtaking. Don’t be surprised if said vehicle fails to move over to let you pass, or the driver looks at you with a mixture of surprise and horror - overtaking is unusual here.

Your vehicle will probably have working indicators, but do not worry if these are defective - they are rarely used here. Drivers know when the vehicle in front is about to pull in and park because they recognise the car, know who’s driving it and know that this is his house. If you have working indicators and are in the habit of using them then nobody will object; just don’t expect the same from any other vehicle you encounter. (See also Jane Durnford’s comment in the St Helena Sentinel.)

Rush Hour

Rush Hour, such as it is, is between 08:00 and 09:00 and again between 15:45 and 16:30, which coincides with the normal office opening and closing. There is another ‘blip’ between 16:45 and 17:30 when the shops close. At these times the roads are full of cars and buses, so are best avoided.

It’s also worth noting that it is effectively impossible to enter Jamestown between 16:00 and 16:30. The reason is that it would involve driving down Ladder Hill Road, Constitution Hill or Sidepath. But as these are all single-track roads, and descending traffic has to give way to ascending traffic, you will simply spend the entire half-hour waiting in a passing bay.

Rush Hour Ladder Hill Road Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena
Rush Hour, Ladder Hill Road

Top Twenty things to do Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena

Going for a drive is one of our Top Twenty things to do during a visit to St Helena.

Top Twenty things to do Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena

Speed Bumps

Speed humps cartoon Herald 20040618 Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena
Cartoon, St Helena Herald 18th June 2004

St Helena has two speed bumps. Both are outside Pilling Primary School, one just above and one just below, in Jamestown (in Market Street, around half way between the Hospital and the Bridge Memorial Clock). They were installed in 2004, not because there had actually been any serious accidents there, but just in case. They’re relatively severe, and drivers adopt one of two approaches to them:

  • Slow down to a halt; engage 1st gear; crawl forward at the minimum speed possible until both axles have cleared the speed bump; accellerate back to full speed until the second bump is reached; repeat

  • Increase speed to at least 40mph and to hell with the shock-absorbers!

Note that no other school has speed bumps outside it.

If you break down

You do not need to lock yourself in the car and call the emergency services on your mobile ‘phone (which quite possibly won’t work anyway{4}). Just lift the bonnet (even if the trouble is nothing to do with the engine) and the next passing vehicle will stop to offer assistance. It will probably be carrying jump leads, a tow rope, tools, water, oil and possibly a fully-equipped vehicle maintenance kit and a selection of spare parts.

But try not to break down late at night on a rarely used piece of road or you could end up sleeping in your car.

Want to be mistaken for a local?

Apart from ignoring all the rules in the Highway Code, one other thing will make people assume you are a local driver; but it will require you to modify your vehicle, so best only consider this if you will be here for a while…

Car with enormous ‘sub’ Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena

  • Go to the Rose & Crown shop and buy the most powerful car stereo they have. About 1,000 watts per channel should do.

  • Make sure this comes equipped with an enormous ‘sub’{5} - ideally this should fill the boot of the car, or better still encroach into the passenger compartment as well.

  • Fit the above, select music by the gangster-rapper of your choice, turn the volume to 110% and then drive slowly through Jamestown at about 2am.

  • Don’t worry that the stereo is worth more than the car, or that the body panels of the car fall off due to the vibration. Don’t allow it to distress you that parts of the island’s precious built heritage crumble to dust as you drive by. And don’t be upset by the fact that you are suffering irreversible deafness within twenty seconds of firing up the equipment. Just take pleaure in knowing that you are now indisputably one of the local drivers.

(If P-Puff Diddy Dumbo Rapper JZ (feat. K Y Jelly and Brain I Aint) is not to your taste, the Crossroads of Life by Mick Flavin will do just as well.)

Sub-Woofer Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena

A few ‘fascinating facts’

Fords 1991 Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena

According to the vehicle registration authority, as at first quarter 2014 there were 2,867 vehicles registered on St Helena; that’s roughly two for every three people on the island. (Despite this the roads are never crowded and traffic-jams are unheard of.)

Of these, 117 were government vehicles (4%); the rest were privately owned{6}.

And the total number of Fords registered is 935 - around 33% of the total. The assumption that the standard ‘Saint’ car is a Ford Escort, illustrated by the 1991 photograph (right), is probably still true!

As of March 2016 there were 3,191 vehicles registered for regular road use on St Helena, an 11% increase since Q1 2014. At this rate of growth the island should achieve one vehicle per person in December 2017{7}. By comparison, in July 1984 there were 194 motorcycles and 876 other vehicles, a total of 1,070, registered and insured on St Helena, and earlier still, in the late 1940s, there were just 80 ‘motorcars’ and no mention of motorcycles.

Multi-purpose vehicle Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena
Multi-purpose vehicle, St Helena style. When there are no tourists, a taxi becomes a delivery vehicle

Just to be serious for a moment…

The following information was issued by the Government of St Helena in November 2015:

The dimensions of a motor vehicle shall not exceed those set out below:
(provided that the Licensing Officer may give permission in writing, subject to such conditions as he may impose, for the use of a motor vehicle of greater dimensions)
• Overall width 8 feet 6 inches
• Overall length 25 feet
• Wheelbase 13 feet 7 inches
• Height, exclusive of hood or covering 11 feet 6 inches
In these regulations, ‘overall length’ means the length exclusive of any starting handle{8} and of any hood when lowered. And ‘overall width’ means the width measured between vertical planes parallel to the longitudinal axis of the vehicle and passing through the extreme projecting points thereof, exclusive of any mirror conforming with the provisions of Regulation 26 of these regulations.

How it all began

The Austin 7 in 1935 Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena
The Austin 7, in 1935

In 1919, eying developments overseas, motorised transport was prohibited by Ordinance on St Helena. For five years this was uncontested but in 1924 islanders began debating whether mechanised transport should be allowed on the island. The opponents maintained that St Helena had got on very well in the past with horses and donkeys and in any case they considered our steep and narrow winding roads unsuitable for a motor vehicles. Governor Charles Henry Harper was strictly neutral in the discussions, but did report to the Colonial Office that after all, time is rarely of the essence of any undertaking in St Helena and thereby let out a hint of his own private opinion.

The dispute raged on until 1927 when, in the face of considerable local feelings and opposition, the 1919 Ordinance was repealed and a new Motor-Car Ordinance was passed, making it lawful to import motor vehicles to the Island. To be ready for the rush of cars, in 1928 some 100Km of road were prepared. The following year, St Helena’s leading and most enterprising inhabitant, Mr Humphrey Solomon, imported an Austin 7, the first motor vehicle to run on Island roads. Registered as number 1, and sold to and operated by a Mr Withecombe, the car was fondly referred to as ‘the Number 1’{9}.

To read more see our Classic Cars page.

The Road Traffic Ordinance (No. 1 of 1935) made provision for the regulation and licensing of traffic on roads and of motor vehicles and otherwise with respect to roads and vehicles thereon. It also made some provision for insuring third parties against risks arising out of the use of motor vehicles.

And on the subject of history, the following was published in the St Helena News Review on 11th January 1980:

In the Magistrates’ Court on 22nd and 31st December 1979 seven persons were found guilty of traffic offences: Peter Paul Feeny of Upper Jamestown was fined £3 with £2.40 costs for failing to show two white lights to the front of his vehicle when driving during the hours of darkness, and failing to stop when directed to do so by a police man on duty. Three persons were guilty of driving without due care and attention. They were Lionel George Peters of Deadwood (fined £5 with costs of £1.80), Robert Crowie of Deadwood (fined £3 with costs of £2.20) and Harry Edward Yon of Briars Village (fined £5 with costs of £4.80}. Cyril Williams of Pounceys was charged with driving when unfit to drive through drink. He was fined £10 with 90p costs and disqualified from driving for one year. Lennard Augustus of Briars Village was fined £2 and 60p costs for allowing a vehicle to remain on a road and causing unnecessary obstruction. Frederick George Isaac of China Lane was fined £5 for driving a vehicle on the road with an inefficient braking system, an inefficient steering gear and an inefficient windscreen wiper.

How we scrap cars

Clearly on an island of only 122Km², there isn’t a lot of space for storing old cars after they have finished their useful life or are damaged beyond repair, and we have no heavy industry so recycling the materials is not an option. The cost of freighting scrap metal off to, for example, South Africa, would be considerable and the island only needs so many chicken houses…

In fact old cars are cleaned, with all the fuel, oil and other contaminents removed{10}, and then dumped in an area of the sea just off Breakneck Valley, in an attempt to create an artificial reef. You can explore it while diving. There are some photos below of the operation:

Loading at The Wharf Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena
Loading at The Wharf

Travelling out Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena
Travelling out

Over the side Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena
Over the side

Down it goes! Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena
Down it goes!

Who knew we’d see the day when St Helena would export cars!{b}

The other thing, that was tried once in 2005, but has sadly never been repeated, is to hold a ‘Stock Car Rally/Race’. A dirt-track near the Millennium Forest was marked out and a collection of vehicles that could no longer be kept roadworthy was assembled for an afternoon’s competition (actually finishing seemed to be the winning activity). There are some pictures below of some of the competitors. Photography was almost impossible during the actual racing due to the clouds of dust…

Stock Cars 1 Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena

Stock Cars 2 Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena

Stock Cars 3 Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena

Stock Cars 4 Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena

Stock Cars 5 Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena

Jamestown Parking Proposals, November 2016

SHG crest Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena

In November 2016 the Government started public consultation on outline proposals to manage parking in Jamestown. The proposals were cast in a background where there would be no funding available for significant works to increase the number of parking spaces in the town (i.e. covering and parking over The Run or building a multi-storey car park{11}). Any scheme would therefore need to be entirely self-financing.

The following summarises the proposals and adds, where relevant, some issues raised, primarily by the residents of Jamestown:

  • All streets in Jamestown would be marked with delineated parking bays. This is to reduce the amount of space wasted by people parking with excessive space between vehicles.

  • Some of these bays would be reserved for Resident parking. The rest would be available for ‘Commuter’ parking (including shoppers and other visitors).

  • The scheme would operate between the hours of 8am and 4pm, Monday to Friday. Comment received proposed that the hours be extended from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am to 1pm on Saturdays. Outside the operating hours all bays would be available free for any use.

  • Parking in Commuter bays would be at an hourly charge - provisionally suggested at £0.50p per hour for ‘prime’ areas (e.g. the Stand{12} and Grand Parade) and £0.20p per hour elsewhere. Tickets would be available in shops across the island, using a ‘scratch’ technique. In questioning it was noted that anyone wanting to park in a Commuter bay before the shops opened would need to buy a ticket in advance. The Wharf, around the Hospital and a few other areas would be designated for open free parking, i.e. not part of the scheme.

  • Residents could apply for a permit, entitling them to use the Resident bays. The fee proposed was £10/annum for the first vehicle and a ‘higher fee’ (not announced) for each subsequent vehicle. In discussion it was clarified that the additional fee would be charged only for a second or subsequent vehicle registered to the same person. Several people sharing the same address and each owning one vehicle would pay £10 each per annum. It was noted that Resident bays would not be dedicated; there would be fewer bays than the number of resident vehicles and possession of a permit would allow parking in a Resident bay but would not guarantee that one would be available.

  • Disabled parking bays would also be delineated, and would be free at all times to the registered disabled. Commercial vehicle bays would also be defined, with an annual licence fee (not yet set).

  • Traffic wardens would be employed to enforce the rules, and would also enforce other parking restrictions, e.g. not parking on pavements; not overstaying in ‘loading/unloading’ areas; etc. The cost of the wardens would be met from the fees received, aiming to break even.

Comments on the proposals can be made to the Secretary of the ENRC, Mr Nicky Lawrence, committee@enrd.gov.sh. No time limit was set for the consultation and it was clarified that amended proposals would be brought back for public consultation in due course. (At the time of writing{13} they haven’t been!)

And finally…

With just an inch to spare Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena
With just an inch to spare…

Most people agree that once you’ve driven on St Helena you will never want to drive anywhere else ever again. Yes, Ladder Hill Road can be a bit ‘exciting’, and your arms may get a little tired as you haul your car around the 1,000th corner - this morning, but there are no speed cameras{14}, traffic lights, congestion charges, toll roads or car jackers and you can park your car all day in the centre of Jamestown without paying a penny{15}. What more could you ask for?

You can see a video of some of the island routes.

Read More

Below: Article: Don’t stay too long at St Helena’s craziest attraction…Article: …poor driving standards of some motorists on island

More stories on our page Read articles about St Helena.

Article: Don’t stay too long at St Helena’s craziest attraction…

By Simon Pipe, printed in the St Helena Independent 21st March 2014{16}

Parking sign in Jamestown Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena

In seven years of non-stop travelling to more than 140 countries, Gary Arndt has photographed some extraordinary sights: the rainbows over the Victoria Falls, a diving penguin in Antarctica, even human skulls in the killing fields of Cambodia. But on St Helena, what caught his eye was the parking sign in Jamestown.

This is what he believed to be the world’s most complicated parking zone (and he’s in a good position to judge). Within a couple of days, his shot of the 58-word No Parking sign had been given more than 50 ‘likes’ on Facebook. Catch Our Travel Bug commented: By the time you read the sign, your time is up.

St Helena was one of 13 places around the world that Gary most wanted to visit, on a list he published on his Everything Everywhere travel blog in 2011. While on the island, he marked the seventh anniversary of the day he handed over the keys of his house to go travelling. When he left, he told friends he’d wander the world for a year, but privately thought it might be two years. He’s since taught himself to become an award-winning photographer. His website attracts more than 100,000 readers a year - many of whom will doubtless savour his descriptions of St Helena.

He was not disappointed by a gorgeous island with some of the most interesting people in the world. And perhaps, with the eye of a travel expert, Gary has identified a tourist attraction that hasn’t been properly appreciated by those whose job is to promote St Helena. World’s Oldest Tortoise, World’s Toughest Stairs and World’s Most Remote Nearly Everything are all great claims to fame, but World’s Craziest Parking Sign might appeal to an entirely new breed of tourist. Those who cross oceans to see it are unlikely, one feels, to pull up in a car.

Article: …poor driving standards of some motorists on island

‘Comment’ by Jane Durnford, the St Helena Sentinel 17th March 2016{c}

I must include a comment on the poor driving standards of some motorists on island. Aside from the usual speeding and drink driving issues, basic driving considerations, affording other road users courtesy needs to improve;

  • Indicators are fitted to vehicles for a reason. They inform other road users (including pedestrians) of your intentions so we do not have to guess what you are going to do.

  • Fog lights are for when it’s foggy, not to make your car look sportier at night. You think they look cool but they’re dazzling other drivers, especially when travelling uphill.

  • While you stop in the road to have a conversation with a friend or conduct some business may be convenient for you, please consider other motorists who also have a destination to reach. This is especially frustrating during the commute to and from work.

Feedback

This comment was discussed in the ‘Rattling Cages’ programme on Saturday 19th March, and it was suggested by callers to the station that Jane could solve her issue with ‘conversations’ by getting out of bed earlier!

Closing Humour Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena

Laugh at funny Driving in St Helena humour LOL Saint Helena Island Info


Credits:

{a} St Helena News Review, 2nd December 1983{16}

{b} Annonymous, quoted in the St Helena News, 30th October 1987{16}

{c} This item is reproduced{16} with permission from South Atlantic Media Services Ltd (SAMS)



Footnotes:

{1} Available from the Police Station in Jamestown, open Mon-Fri 8:30am-4pm, price £2.50.

{2} After a while driving here it becomes instinctive; and then when you go home you will get strange looks from other motorists who can’t figure out why you are waving at them.

{3} Sorry, there were no explanatory details.

{4} See our Communications.

{5} No, not an underwater craft. A ‘sub-woofer’, which emphasizes the bass of whatever you play.

{6} However, note that organisations like Solomon’s (majority owned by government) and Connect Saint Helena Ltd. (100% owned by government) are considered for these figures as private, not government.

{7} 324 extra vehicles in two years = 0.443543971 extra vehicles per day. 4,600 vehicles is an extra 1,409 vehicles, which would take 625 days from 31st March 2016.

{8} Starting handle? We know St Helena cars can be quite old but…

{9} Actually the very first ‘car’ on St Helena was a species of cyclear brought out by Captain Mainwaring, a car mechanic. This vehicle, however did not prove successful, and during its trials it crashed into the wall of the graveyard - with Governor Harper as passenger. Hence ‘the Number 1’ could perhaps be more accurately described as St Helena’s first successful car!

{10} And where do these go? Good question, and probably one you would rather we didn’t answer!

{11} Even if a suitable site could ever be identified.

{12} The bays in the middle of Main Street, from the roundabout down to Association Hall.

{13} .

{14} Yet, anyway. The police do have radar guns but only two, and they are rarely actually working!

{15} Currently, but see the Jamestown Parking Proposals.

{16} Reproduced for educational non-commercial use only; all copyrights are acknowledged.



• GOOGLE™ SITE SEARCH:

Take Me Anywhere But Here!

 

Translate this page using Google™ Translate Saint Helena Island Info Driving in St Helena
traducir översätta vertalen übersetzen tradurre