‘Eyesore’ traffic sign to be removed after Stevenage residents’ complaints

A traffic information sign in Six Hills Way, Stevenage, is being removed after complaints from resid

A traffic information sign in Six Hills Way, Stevenage, is being removed after complaints from residents - Credit: Archant

A TRAFFIC information sign considered an eyesore and a distraction to drivers will be removed and replaced elsewhere with two smaller versions following complaints from residents.

Stevenage county councillor Robin Parker met with Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) engineers on Friday who agreed to remove a sign in Six Hills Way, Stevenage.

The sign, situated near to the junction with Marlborough Road, is one of 12 in Stevenage installed to display real-time traffic information at a cost of £200,000, but will now be replaced by two smaller message signs in Six Hills Way and Chells Way.

“The sign was one of 12 new variable message signs around Stevenage, but I received a number of complaints from local Chells residents about it,” said Cllr Parker, who represents the Chells division on the county council.

“Amongst our concerns were that it was an eyesore near houses and that it was positioned too close to a pedestrian crossing point, with a central island, where there has been at least one fatality in recent years. We feared that it might act as a distraction to drivers on Six Hills Way when approaching that crossing.

“I am pleased to report that the HCC engineers told me that they have now agreed to remove the sign. It will be removed as soon as contractors have work capacity to do so.”

Cllr Parker, who is also the leader of the Stevenage Liberal Democrats on the borough council, criticised HCC for not consulting widely enough before the signs were installed.

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“They didn’t cast their consultation net wide enough and consult with people in the areas affected,” he added.

The county council’s executive member for highways and transport, Stuart Pile, said the project had been discussed “at a wide range of meetings across the whole county”, including one in Stevenage in February.

“Officers then sent an email to local members in Stevenage on July 27, 2012, requesting comments, with a map showing variable message sign locations, but got no response from anyone,” Cllr Pile added.

“It is the job of the local member to represent their constituents on issues such as this. It seems that some members did not appreciate the importance of what was going to happen.”