Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Call to remove road sign clutter on rural roads

Up to 70% of the signs on rural roads are unnecessary "clutter" which could be removed, campaigners claimed today.

Having fewer signs enhances the beauty of the countryside and can encourage more responsible driving, according to the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).

And the RAC Foundation said too many signs on the roads "simply confuse" motorists.

The CPRE wants the Government to issue guidance on how to fix signs and design roads to prevent overuse of signage to enhance the appearance the landscape.

At an Institute for Highway Incorporated Engineers conference in Loughborough today, CPRE planning campaigner Paul Miner will also urge highway authorities to carry out "clutter audits" of secondary A, B and lesser roads.

An audit of the A32 in rural Hampshire found 70% of the signs could be removed, according to the CPRE.

Mr Miner said: "The Government wants local authorities to be 'place shapers'. The best place everyone can start is by looking at the appearance of our roads.

"Most of our rural roads are a mess of unnecessary and standardised signage that looks bland and encourages irresponsible motoring.

"By getting rid of this clutter, local councils, highway engineers and communities can make our countryside a safer and more attractive place to be. "

He said obsolete signs were often not removed, while there was also an excess of warning and speeding signs.

Sheila Rainger, head of campaigns at the RAC Foundation, said: "Road signs are designed to warn, instruct and advise, but if overused they simple confuse."

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