Transport on Saint Helena

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RMS St Helena in James Bay, off St Helena

Saint Helena has 138 kilometres (86 mi) — 118 kilometres (73 mi) paved and 20 kilometres (12 mi) unpaved — of roads.[1] The only major harbour is James Bay at Jamestown, Saint Helena, which has customs and immigration buildings. There is no merchant marine.


Saint Helena has its own vehicle registration plate system. Traffic drives on the left as is the case in the United Kingdom itself. Indeed, two of the nearest countries to the islands — South Africa and Namibia — also drive on the left. The speed limit is 30 mph (48 km/h) across the island, and with many of the roads single lane and on steep slopes the local etiquette is that drivers heading downhill give way to those coming up.

A minibus offers a basic service to carry people around Saint Helena, with most services designed to take people into Jamestown for a few hours on weekdays to conduct their business. Car rental is available for visitors.


Saint Helena Airport is an international airport that services Saint Helena. The British government and South African company Basil Read signed a deal in November 2011 for construction of the airport[2], which opened 14 October 2017.[3]

An airport was built on Ascension during World War II to be used as a staging point for aircraft being ferried from factories in Canada and the United States to the war in North Africa. At the end of the war the airport was abandoned, subsequently re-opening when Ascension started to be used as a base for monitoring space launches and ICBM tests. Ascension airport is now known as RAF Wideawake. There is limited commercial air service to the United Kingdom and Saint Helena.


The Saint Helena Railway Company built an inclined-plane railway on the island in 1829.[4] It became a steep staircase, Jacob's Ladder, and the island no longer has any railways.[5][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ CIA World Factbook St Helena
  2. ^ BBC News Remote UK island colony of St Helena to get airport (3 November 2011)
  3. ^ "ST HELENA PREPARES FOR INAUGURAL FLIGHT". St Helena. 2017-10-10. Retrieved 2017-10-14. 
  4. ^ "Janus: Views of St Helena". 22 October 2010. Retrieved 22 October 2010. 
  5. ^ Turner, Burgh House Software for John. "Saint Helena Island Info: All about St Helena, in the South Atlantic Ocean • Jacob's Ladder". Retrieved 2017-10-17. 
  6. ^ Turner, Burgh House Software for John. "Saint Helena Island Info: All about St Helena, in the South Atlantic Ocean • Our (Other) Railway". Retrieved 2017-10-17. 

External links[edit]