‘We need road sign purge’

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Blackpool should “purge” itself of useless road signs.

The resort’s opposition Tory leader Tony Williams made the comments after an illuminated sign was installed close to Gynn Square warning of blind people crossing the road – despite a nearby blind-friendly hotel closing down nine years ago.

Coun Williams said: “We need an audit of all signs around Blackpool, there are far too many.

“Many don’t point in the right direction. Some are totally unnecessary, and have been around for years.

“These signs cost fortunes. It’s time we purged them from Blackpool.”

The sign, placed close to the former Century Hotel, is believed to have been erected in March as part of a Private Finance Initiative scheme, which has seen 16,000 illuminated street items replaced across Blackpool.

Yesterday, the sign at Gynn Square was removed by contractors after the issue was raised with The Gazette by Coun Williams.

Warbreck councillor Coun Joyce Delves said: “The old sign was defunct and didn’t need to be there.

“In recent times, a new post was fitted with electronics for an overhead light, which was completely unnecessary. I reported this some months ago.

“There’s no logic between departments and it’s bad management of public funds.

“I was previously told they were not for taking it down unless I was paying to take it down with our ward budget.”

Coun John Jones, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “This is an unfortunate mistake that has already been reported, and the signs are being removed.

“Before the scheme started in 2009, a list of every item in the town that needed replacing was drawn up.

“This list has been updated to make sure any items that become obsolete were removed.

“Unfortunately, in this case the signs weren’t highlighted as defunct, so new versions were installed.

“In a scheme of this size there are contingencies in place for instances like this, so there is no cost implication to the council, the columns will be re-used elsewhere.”