|From:||St Helier (XD921797)|
|Distance:||4.5 miles (7.2 km)|
|Meets:||A1, A8, A7, A6, A15, A17, A4|
|Route outline (key)|
The A3 is the main road between St Helier and Gorey. It is, however, perhaps quieter than the longer coastal route followed by the A4, especially in summer months when the tourists are exploring the island.
The route starts in St Helier, but it is currently not entirely clear where. Certainly, historically the A3 started on the A1 at Weighbridge Place, but it seems that it has been cut back to the eastern side of the town centre to allow for wider pavements, pedestrianisation and one way systems to improve the town centre area. Certainly, there are no signs remaining along this section of the route to suggest it is still the A3, nor indeed a classified road at all.
We shall start, however, on the A1 at Weighbridge Place for completeness, and head north east along Mulcaster Street, now one-way towards the A1. This narrow street passes St Helier's church, and then becomes Hill Street, running past the States Building - the seat of power on Jersey. The route turns a little to the south and becomes La Colomberie, curving around the hill on which Fort Regent sits. It then very briefly becomes part of the St Helier Ring Road, with the B79 approaching from the left, and the A6 almost immediately exiting to the right. For this brief section, La Colomberie is one-way in the opposite direction to before, and then it becomes pedestrianised.
At the end of this very narrow section, we find the current start point of the A3, which is again one-way for oncoming traffic, and forms part of the ring road. There are two marked lanes, splitting traffic north and south on to the B84. The next main junction sits at the entrance to Howard Davis Park, and is a complicated pattern of interconnected one-way streets, including the A6 and A15. The A3 zig-zags through onto Don Road, now one-way away from the junction, so as can be seen it is still impossible to drive the A3 end-to-end in one go! At the end of the park, the route becomes Georgetown Road, which then TOTSOs with the A17, before forking left at traffic lights.
Finally clear of the central part of St Helier, the A3 fairly quickly manages to escape the town area completely, with fields starting to appear on the left. The last part of the urban area is the large industrial estate on the right, and then the A3 is free, winding through the smaller settlements that line the road. In truth, the impression is still of a largely urban route, with odd houses, farms and small little estates forming a near continuous ribbon of development, but the open fields can be seen. The village of Grouville is soon reached, and then the route drops towards the coast and a TOTSO with the A4.
From the junction to Gorey village, there is a final hint of the countryside with a nature reserve on the left, and the golf course in the dunes to the right, but then the village green for Gorey appears, with the B70 forking off, and the large car parks opposite hint at the beauty just around the corner. The sight of Mont Orgueil Castle rising dramatically on its rocky outcrop above Gorey Harbour is one of the finest views on Jersey, and a fitting terminus for the A3. The route comes to an end at a near hairpin bend at the entrance to the harbour area, with the B30 doubling back up the hill. Ahead is a large parking and bus turning area, with the castle dominating the view high above.