Hundreds of street signs removed to improve roads

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HUNDREDS of road signs which are no longer necessary have been removed by Northamptonshire County Council as part of a project to de-clutter streets.

The work was prompted after Communities Secretary Eric Pickles wrote to councils last year urging them to ‘cut the clutter’.

Since then the county council has worked with councillors, MPs, the Campaign to Protect Rural England and parish councils to help identify which signs should be removed.

So far a total of 316 redundant, damaged and illegal signs along with 586 sign posts from the county’s roads have been taken down.

Cllr Jim Harker, leader of the county council, said: “There has always been a difficult balance between essential road signing and unsightly clutter.

“Often signs that were once installed to address a hazard, tourist destination or required to comply with regulations are now no longer needed due to either a change in layout or a relaxation in legislation.

“In some areas this had led to a proliferation of redundant signs.

“Not only is street clutter unsightly but it can also distract and confuse drivers which can be a safety issue.”

The council says as well as making roads safer and looking better, clearing away the signs cuts maintenance and lighting costs.

As well, around 60 per cent of the signs removed can be reused to replace signs that have deteriorated or can be used as part of new schemes. The council says this will save approximately £14,500 based on the signs and posts already removed.

Signs and posts that cannot be reused will be recycled.

Ongoing phases of sign de-cluttering will go on through the summer and any redundant signs can be reported to The Street Doctor on www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/streetdoctor or alternatively call 0300 126 1000.