Thursday, August 26, 2010

NOT related to HPC but good news I am sure

Councils told to remove 'street clutter'

Mr Pickles said: ''Our streets are losing their English character. We are being overrun by scruffy signs, bossy bollards, patchwork paving and railed off roads - wasting taxpayers' money that could be better spent on fixing potholes or keeping council tax down. We need to 'cut the clutter'. In 2006 a survey by the Hampshire section of the CPRE of a seven-mile section of the B3006 in the South Downs National Park revealed an average of 45 signs per mile.

Posted by mark @ 10:37 AM (1585 views)
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11 thoughts on “NOT related to HPC but good news I am sure

  • It reflects the different attitude of this government to the last.

    But I do recall a local exercise to de-clutter the streets a few years ago, which ended with the highways authority finding compelling reasons why every existing sign had to remain, and then adding some more..

    I do hope our Eric digs a bit deeper on this one – as SatNav becomes universal, a lot of road signage will become unnecessary.

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  • Hey some signage is just insane, I have seen a bus stop marked as a bus stop with a parking sign added to it, not only is this in contradiction of the highway code, it is also just plain stupid and a waste of money, a new sign popped up last night on a walk I go on “no crabbing” jeez what harm does it do for a bunch of people to catch crabs from the sea? next they will put signs up “no fishing or using land or sea to live from, we know you are skint but we don’t care by the way your council tax will go up”

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  • charlie brooker says:

    He is right on this. For sure many of the signs are there for safety reasons but the appearance of our streets has been blighted by excessive signage. What often gets me is the number of poles erected to display individual signs. Can’t they find a way to attach multiple signs to the same post hence reducing the clutter?

    While many of the signs are for safety, many are just superfluous and obsolete, besides being in poor condition, and should be removed. Many are unauthorised and even a danger. When was the last time a review was carried out on signage in your area?

    With augmented reality (AR) becoming more common-place hopefully it may become possible to remove a whole lot of these signs altogether, so you only see them when you view a street through AR-vision.

    Mind you if you think the UK has excessive road signage try Asia, in particular Thailand where urban streets are utterly ruined by shop-front signs and advertising hoardings.

    I have a solution to the problem: Make it an offence to erect such signage but instead allow all such messages to be displayed on large LCD screens placed at regular intervals in key street locations instead. This is already old news on London Underground and other places in the UK doubtless, but no-one has done it on the streets of developing Asian nations.

    With ugly advertising hoardings removed, the buildings could be spruced up for everyone to enjoy the architecture and places like ugly Bangkok would look a little more like immaculate Singapore.

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  • CB,

    Thailand raises a lot of revenue through taxing signs – and if they are not in Thai, the tax rate is much higher – so there’s no incentive for the government to get rid of them!

    What I really hope is that our government will get tough on the roadside hoardings, that blight so many countries, and are now beginning to appear alongside our motorways..

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  • On the subject of signage – I’m seeing a lot more for sale signs going up and again with properties marketed by up to 3 agents for a single property.

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  • Charlie Brooker says:

    UT while I’m sure that the Thai Govt does raise a lot of revenue from texing advertising hoardings, in places like Pattaya to call the problem a plague is a gross understatement.

    On second thought, the problem with ideas like mine is that of enforcement. The police are corrupt and the people headstrong.

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  • charlie brooker says:

    UT,

    Ceteris paribus, the government could piotentially raise a lot more tax revenue from my idea.

    However, on remembering a little more about Asia, the key problems there, namely corrpution and ignorance, are so entrenched it could never happen, except by way of a ruling from the King.

    Me and my idealism.

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  • It would be nice if the actual stuff was prettier.
    Travel around Europe, US and Asia and much of the street signage and furniture – even in the “poor” Eastern Europe – is rather more attractive than our clumpy stuff.
    It should be attractive as well as just functional.

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  • … maybe it’s to remove obstructions for enforcement vehicles when we go to martial law.

    Well, that’s what Alex would say.

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  • CB,

    I spend the winter in Thailand, but the one place I don’t go to is Pattaya..

    ..it’s the sin bin of the nation – where seedy tourists can be ripped off by seedy Thais..

    Which, of course, is great – because it keeps the bits of Thailand I like, relatively free of embarassing tourists and Thai crooks..

    If you’ve been to Bangkok & Pattaya, try Chiang Mai or Hua Hin next time..!

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  • Our little village in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park has now got 376 ( Yes I counted ’em) white plastic bollards 18″ high to stop people parking on verges where they never parked in the 1st place ! what’s more, the grass cutting contractor will no longer cut the verges as he has to lift his gear up and down so often he’s losing money.So the village looks scruffier, and money has been wasted for what?
    So that the Council doesn’t have money left in its’ coffers at the yearend because if they had – they would get less money the next year and that is the root of the problem. So it’s easily fixed – allow Councils to carry money over from one year to the next and then they can use it for something useful

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