Thursday 6 May 2010

Sign of the times

My local council (East Riding of Yorkshire) have a rolling programme of improvements that they apply to all of the 280 or so villages in the county. It's called Street Scene and it is a way of fixing the small jobs, like small road repairs, fixing or replacing signs, bins, fences and anything else that the council is responsible for. Like all council schemes it starts out as a good idea then descends into a money-wasting exercise which is basically budget led. In the end jobs get done because there is money that needs to be spent by a certain time or lost and not because the job really needed doing.

All of the street name signs in the village were 'reviewed' and ones that were shabby were replaced. The sign pictured is a new replacement. The sign faces a T junction on one of the main routes into the village. It had an arrow pointing left for West End and an arrow pointing right for Main Street, which is wrong. The break between these two roads is not at this junction and some of West End lies to the right.

I emailed the council explaining that the new sign was misleading, they refused to fix it saying that it was the same as the old sign (not true) and that it was not wrong. I gave up, knowing the real reason was that the money had run out.

Some months later I bumped into Geoff, our local parish council chairman, near the sign. I mentioned that it was wrong; after some thought he agreed and I suggested that all that needed to happen was that the incorrect arrow be painted out. Today I noticed that that is exactly what has happened. I don't know if Geoff did it, an expensive council workman did it or someone else did it who had the same idea as me and had some white enamel paint to hand, but whoever painted out the arrow, thank you.

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