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Street furniture and signpost clutter

Silly signs, pointless poles and other paraphernalia

Three signsSmall things irritate us, but they matter a great deal. Not just as individuals or local residents, but as businesses and potential investors.

A smart environment matters and it is time that local authorities and their promotional agencies stopped wasting money on signage and traffic controls.

There is an urgent need to tackle the abundance of street furniture, litter and signs that do nothing to improve the environment and only add to the costs of supposedly hard-pressed local authorities.

The lower part of Leith Walk in Edinburgh, for instance, has been improved by roadworks and new paving. But we now have signs we don’t need, cyclists on the widened pavements, no obvious places for overspilling bins that are too small and scruffy phone booths that BT needs to either tidy up or remove.

The three blue signs pictured above are two penalty kicks apart and they say the same thing. Why do we need three signs?

Pointless poleEven more ridiculous is the pole (pictured left). Workmen actually cut the paving stone to fit around this pole even though it carried no sign. It would have been easier and cheaper to remove it. But it remains in place telling us absolutely nothing.

There are hundreds of such poles around the city, all doing sweet FA, apart from blighting our streets.

There are many others which sit on hideous concrete blocks, including a few in George Street in what is one of the city’s premier thoroughfares.

Some tell us the bleedin’ obvious, including those on cycle lanes that indicate the lanes are for cyclists. Doh!

Other pointless poles do actually carry signs, but often refer to traffic alterations that happened months, sometimes years ago that everyone already knows about. No one takes any notice of them. They are entirely beyond their sell-by date. They are pointless. But we are paying for this nonsense.

dark lights

Ok, the picture left is rubbish, but it was taken at night and be assured that at the junction of North St Andrew St and York Place there are 12 signs/traffic signals. Be reminded that traffic cannot turn into the street, so by any measure this is excessive.

The sign that appears to be glowing is a cycle sign which tells cyclists that they can use a route clearly marked with a big cycle sign on the road. In other words, only an idiot would not know the purpose of this route.

There are buttons to press to stop non-existent traffic, just in case traffic might appear and cause a problem.

Most pedestrians ignore all this street junk and just go about their daily lives without pressing any buttons nor, I suspect, waiting for traffic that will not pass, nor concerning themselves with cyclists who know what route to take (when they are not riding on the pavements).

In fact, this one stretch of St Andrew Square from Princes Street to York Place is an example of local authority profligacy. Supposedly hard up, the council was able to afford no fewer than 67 signs and traffic signals in this one road, including a forest of pedestrian buttons at the St Andrew Square tram stop that no one uses because there is so little traffic. It costs thousands of pounds to install these hideous and unnecessary monstrosities.

Other parts of the city are similarly blighted by pointless and expensive signage, much of it associated with the tram works. God knows how many of these pedestrian crossing signs have been installed. Here below are a few more in Shandwick Place that blight the view of the statue and, to make matters worse, are rarely used.

statue poles

There are four push button signals, some so close to each other that a pedestrian could press them simultaneously with two hands.

This is replicated across the city, costing tens of thousands of pounds. It’s bonkers and is costing you and I a lot of money.

Something must be done. I know. Stop installing so many senseless and expensive signs.

What do you think? Is there too much street furniture? Leave a comment below.

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