Lib Dems back government plan to rid streets of "clutter"

August 27, 2010 12:16 PM
Cllr Sian Reid

Sian Reid

A government plan to rid Britain's streets of "clutter" has been backed by MP Julian Huppert and Cambridge City Council Leader, Sian Reid.

Councils are being urged to remove unnecessary signs, railings and advertising hoardings to make streets tidier and less confusing for motorists and pedestrians.

Julian pushed this issue as a county councillor and chair of the Cambridge Transport Area Joint Committee and Cllr Reid has also been championing the cause for a number of years. Their joint pressure has led to thousands of signs being removed.

"Streets which are full of clutter become obstacle courses for pedestrians and put their safety at risk," said Julian. "They should be pleasant places, full of character not advertising hoardings."

Cllr Reid added: "I am glad the government is taking this action to improve our streets. We have been working hard on this issue in Cambridge for many years and we have made headway; but there is still more to do.

"I am looking forward to the county council acting on this and hopefully we will start to see real improvements."

The government believes that in some cases, traffic signs and railings are installed by councils in the mistaken belief that they are legally required.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles and Transport Secretary Philip Hammond have written to council leaders calling on them to act.

Mr Pickles said: "We are being overrun by scruffy signs, bossy bollards, patchwork paving and railed off roads wasting taxpayers' money that could be better spent on fixing potholes or keeping council tax down. We need to 'cut the clutter'.

"Common sense tells us uncluttered streets have a fresher, freer authentic feel, which are safer and easier to maintain."

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