‘Remove by’ dates given to road signs - new government rules to ‘declutter’ streets

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Dozens of “unnecessary” signs could be removed from the district’s roads under new government rules designed to de-clutter the nation’s streets.

Signs indicating a new road layout will now have ‘remove by’ dates, enabling residents to hold the council to account if the signs are not taken down when no longer needed.

Temporary signage is installed by local authorities when a new road layout is created.

The signs are meant to be taken down within three months, but some are left up for years.

Gary Oldroyd, who lives in Wakefield, says he has spotted “redundant” signs across the district, including notices for a ‘new’ pedestrian refuge near the Redbeck Motel on Doncaster Road.

Mr Oldroyd said: “When the council do new road layouts or junctions they have to put up red signs with white lettering that say there is a new layout ahead.

“But some of the ones you see around the district have been there for years.

“They can be confusing for both local drivers and tourists who don’t know the area.

“If you see a new layout sign, then that is what you are expecting.”

Neil Rodgers, Wakefield Council’s service director for planning, transportation and highways, said: “We are aware of the new legislation and plan to start assessing the locations of any out-of-date signs so that these can be removed at some point.

“However, it does cost money and can be a low priority in comparison to other highway maintenance.

“We will make sure that the new rules are followed when any new temporary signage is put up in the future.

“We hope this will help to de-clutter the roads and help stop any confusion.”

The Department for Transport introduced the new rules last week to try to prevent road signs being “needlessly left in place”.

It said too many signs were an “unnecessary” distraction to drivers.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “Road signs should only be installed on our roads when they are essential.

“Our common-sense reforms will help get rid of pointless signs that are an eyesore and distract drivers.”

A full list of all the changes can be found at www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-transport

The number of signs on our roads more than doubled from 2.45 million in England in 1993 to an estimated 4.57 million in 2013.