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'Needless' signs are set to vanish

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: July 25, 2013

  • This tributary off Alverton Road is just 30 yards long and ends in a dead-end but still warrants two 20mph signs. Picture Scott Hamilton.

  • This alley isn't wide enough for a car but has two poles carrying three signs each. The two parking notices on poles are also duplicated on a few yards away. Scott Hamilton

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SUPERFLUOUS signs that clutter up west Cornwall roads could become a thing of the past thanks to a new scheme set to be launched.

Action being carried out in Penzance and the surrounding villages to remove unnecessary signs is being welcomed in the town. But a motoring expert believes a balance needs to be found to avoid putting motorists at risk.

"I was afraid that at one point Penzance would descend under a blanket of superfluous signs," said Simon Glasson, town clerk.

The Penwith area has been earmarked for the removal by Cornwall Council after Feock parish was the first area to see the benefits, with more than 200 signs removed.

Penzance is the next, having been chosen as the pilot project for an urban area.

"There seems to be this move towards putting up more and more signs which is a problem for traffic movement in the town," said Mr Glasson. He believes that by being part of the pilot scheme the town could better control traffic issues in the future.

He said a hotspot for branding was Market Jew Street, where there is a new one-way system, which is often flouted by motorists despite the plethora of signs.

"There is a lot of unnecessary duplication," said Councillor John Moreland, who has been involved in rolling out the scheme in Penzance.

"We are talking about poles made of aluminium that have both a carbon footprint, an environment cost, and a cost to the public because this is public money. This is a welcome chance to work with Cornwall Council and we're glad they've come to us."

But Luke Bosdet, a spokesman for the AA, said any reduction in signage needed to be a delicate balancing act between freeing up space in a beautiful area of the country and letting drivers know about upcoming hazards.

"The safety concerns of local residents will probably trump the concerns about clutter," he said.

"They will know where the danger spots are and you have also got to give visitors the maximum opportunity to stay safe.

"Cornwall gets an awful lot of tourists and the more information they can be given about what is coming up on the road ahead the better."

Cornwall Council is carrying out a sign audit across Penzance, Gulval, Newlyn and Mousehole, with the findings being released in the coming months.

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