CONSERVATION chiefs have attacked the ‘scandalous’ proliferation of roadsigns in some parts of York, singling out a new 20mph zone in Fishergate for special criticism.

Sir Ron Cooke, chairman of York Civic Trust, says in the organisation’s annual report that its aims of reducing street clutter, in association with the city, is continuing to make progress.

But he claims: “Outside the inner city, the multiplication of unnecessary and expensive signs is becoming scandalous.”

The report says that within the inner city, there is now an impetus for design improvement, heritage management, clutter removal and sensitive stewardship, but outside the city walls it is a different matter.

“Signs, posts and other clutter reproducing at an alarming rate,” it says.

“Take, for example, the short stretch of Fishergate from the Novotel to Grange Garth. Last year, there were 39 poles, 40 signs, six bollards, a zebra crossing and various boxes.

“Now, at the cost of £85,000 to the taxpayer, it is a 20mph zone with an additional 27 poles, 35 signs, nine bollards, six Belisha beacons and various sundry objects.”

The report claims the area has had no significant accident history for decades, and questions whether the signs have affected driver behaviour and reduced speeds.

Fishergate Green councillor Dave Taylor, who strongly backed the introduction of the 20mph zone, said he was in firm agreement with the trust that street clutter should be reduced. “For example, I have complained about the four no left turn signs as you are approaching Walmgate Bar from the Barbican,” he said.

He said he agreed there were too many signs in Fishergate, and they were a little too large and garish, but said they had been introduced under national guidelines for 20mph zones.

These had now been amended, which meant that if 20mph zones were now introduced in other areas of York, there would not need to be so many signs.

York Press: The Press - Comment

Signs of madness

YORK’S streets are scandalously cluttered with unnecessary street signs, the city’s top conservation body says.

There has been progress in the historic city centre, York Civic Trust admits. But outside the city walls – for example in Fishergate – Trust chairman Sir Ron Cooke says signs are sprouting at an alarming rate.

We agree. Yes, the city needs some signs. But there are far too many: not to mention an annoying lack of consistency over their design and style.

It is high time for a clear-out. People are not stupid and we don’t constantly need to be told what to do.

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