Anger over blank traffic signs as Stevenage fair rolls into town

One of the blank traffic information signs in Hitchin Road, Stevenage

One of the blank traffic information signs in Hitchin Road, Stevenage - Credit: Archant

Traffic information signs which cost more than £200,000 to install have come under fire again after road closures surrounding an annual fair were not displayed.

Two-year-old Isabelle Headland enjoying the fair in Stevenage High Street

Two-year-old Isabelle Headland enjoying the fair in Stevenage High Street - Credit: Archant

A dozen of Hertfordshire County Council’s ‘variable message signs’ went live in the Stevenage area in April and were criticised at the time by councillors and residents alike for being a waste of money.

The signs – which are meant to provide live traffic updates for motorists – have been used to display messages from national campaigns such as ‘don’t drink and drive’, as well as the road closure in Six Hills Way and Stevenage Day traffic.

Stevenage resident David Poole is the latest to question the value of the signs after noticing on Monday that they remained blank despite road closures being in place for the annual charter fair in the High Street.

He said: “The annual charter fair is in town and a major diversion is in place. What does the new sign say? Nothing, blank. What is the point of these signs if the county council cannot be bothered to use them?”


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A spokesman for the county council said: “We’re currently working on a policy to decide what goes up and when, but that hasn’t been finalised yet, so it’s down to the network manager and whether they think that should get a mention.”

Stevenage High Street was closed for the duration of the charter fair, which was held between 2.45pm and midnight yesterday (Tuesday) and Monday.

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