Local councils are being urged to ‘clear the clutter’ by getting rid of unnecessary road signs and street furniture that blight the appearance of towns.
The Govt’s Communities Secretary Eric Pickles and Transport Secretary Philip Hammond are worried that the character of the country’s urban spaces is under threat. So they have written to councils asking them to reduce the number of signs where they can. The intention is also to make the streets tidier and less confusing for drivers and pedestrians. It is believed that some traffic signs and other items such as safety railings are installed by councils who mistakenly believe that they are legally required to do so. While it is true that some signs must be there, Department for Transport guidance is to install as few as possible.
The DfT is reviewing its signs policy and will be issuing new guidance later this year.
‘Our streets are losing their English character,’ says Mr Pickles. ‘We are being over-run by scruffy signs… wasting taxpayers’ money that could be better spent on fixing potholes or keeping council tax down.Very little is dictated by law. Uncluttered streets have a fresher, authentic feel, which are safer and easier to maintain.’