SUPERFLUOUS signs that clutter up west Cornwall roads could become a thing of the past thanks to a new scheme set to be launched.
A cull is being carried out in Penzance and surrounding villages in a bid to remove unnecessary signs from our streets.
The sign slashing is being welcomed in the town but a motoring expert believes a balance needs to be found between riding the area of excessive banners and leaving 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 a sign slashing by Cornwall Council as part of its campaign to rid our streets of needless branding.
Feock parish was the first to see the benefits of the fledging scheme with over 200 signs removed from the area.
Penzance is the next in line for a de-clutter after being 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 who added that he believed being part of the pilot scheme could help the town to get more control over traffic issues in the future.
He believes a hot spot for branding is Market Jew Street, thanks to the 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 foot print, an environment cost, and of course 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.”
Any reduction in signage needs to be a delicate balancing act between freeing up space in a beautiful area of the country and letting drivers know about upcoming hazards, believes Luke Bosdet, a spokesman for The AA.
“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 currently carrying out a sign audit across Penzance, Gulval, Newlyn and Mousehole with the findings being released in the coming months.