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[Thursday 26 August 2010]

The Coalition Government’s decision to “de-clutter” the countryside by ordering local councils to remove unnecessary road signs was welcomed today (August 26) by the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

The CPRE is just one of many organisations which have been complaining for several years about the proliferation of such signs. Motoring organisations have said they often confuse drivers and can therefore be a safety hazard and Jeremy Clarkson has ridiculed many signs of the BBC’s Top Gear programme.

The anti-surplus signage campaign was announced earlier in the week by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles and Transport Secretary Philip Hammond is writing to councils asking them to “cut the clutter.”

The movement was welcomed by the CPRE in a statement issued today. Said Ralph Smith, their senior transport campaigner:

“Clutter needs to be tackled in both rural and urban areas. With every local council in England drawing up new local transport plans, this welcome move by Eric Pickles and Philip Hammond could not be better timed. Clutter is not just ugly - it’s expensive and distracts drivers.

“A sign added here and a sign there over time can become a forest of traffic signs. Strong policies against cluttered streetscapes and lanescapes need to be backed up by clutter audits to assess the problem. With public spending limited and the public calling for action, it makes sense to encourage community groups to assess and address the problem in the local areas they know best.”

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