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The question - Road signage

This week English Heritage launched a campaign against street clutter caused by, among other things, excessive road signage. The main claim seems to be that there are too many road signs and that not all of them are necessary. What do you think?

This sounds like yet another headline-seeking gripe from English Heritage against an easy target. Signage is generally located after balanced assessments of safety and necessity. A more genuine gripe should be against drivers with poor driving skills who should be made to re-sit their test.

Robin Thomson, structural engineer, Linlithgow The increased number of road signs is connected, as are so many other areas of increased regulation, with the growth of people looking for someone to blame and sue. Bus lanes are signed, because drivers otherwise park in them and pretend that they didn't know it was a bus lane, speed limits are required at intervals because drivers complain if there is a 30 limit on a road where you can safely drive at 60 for some stretches. If we all thought a bit more when we drove, then all we would need would be direction signs - but we don't.

Mike Dommett, 47, engineer London It is madness. Standards require us to protect everyone from everything. Urban areas are worst hit with all pedestrians treated as if they are infirm and need to be channelled to safe crossings by endless miles of guardrail. What is the point of 'buff' coloured tactile paving? Cycle path signs proliferate. How often do cyclists need to know where they are going? They are either locals or tourists with a map. Why can urban street lighting lanterns not be fixed to buildings? Why cannot small signs or repeaters be fixed to lighting columns? And worst of all, why are street running trams powered by overhead cables requiring hundreds of poles? Remove the lot and free our streets.

Andrew Powell, 42, senior group engineer, Manchester The insidious effect of this roadside clutter is worrying.

We are obliged to read things we would never otherwise give a thought to, in the same way that junk mail, spam and recorded telephone hoaxes invade our consciousness. But perhaps the most pernicious of these are the signs pointing us to those oases of execrable gastronomy. I refer of course to the ones which read: 'Burgers - next left'.

John Dadson, 54, television journalist, Cambridge.

Does the legislation keep pace with the need for signs? The current trend of 20mph zones is yet another excuse to swamp the streets with even more very useful and informative signs.

The need to sign the blatantly obvious seems to grip the designer and I do wonder whether this is simply a case of following the rules rather than applying street sense. My pet hate is when signs are put up announcing a new crossing or set of traffic lights, only to stay there for years after they were introduced. What happened to the rules about temporary signage?

Dudley Swain, 57, performance manager, Devon

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