Old Norwich street signs found dumped at depot

The old street signs which were dumped in a council depot. The old street signs which were dumped in a council depot.

Kim Briscoe
Friday, March 14, 2014
12:09 PM

Dozens of old Norwich street signs have been found languishing in a council depot - years after an assurance was given that they would be recycled.

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Meanwhile, some of their replacements have proved difficult and costly to maintain and so have also been removed, according to the Green Party.

In 2005 Norwich City Council was recommended to adopt a new city centre signposting strategy based on the European “Liveable Cities” wayfinding project.

The estimated cost was £300,000, from various sources, with an on-going £10,000-a-year cost to the council for maintenance. The modern signs were installed in 2007, replacing earlier cast-iron signs.

At the time Rupert Read, who was then a city councillor, asked for and received an assurance that the old signs would be reused or recycled.

The Greens say that this week heaps of signs of two types could be seen, not recycled, but abandoned in a council depot.

Mr Read, who is now the Green Party’s lead candidate in the east of England for the European elections in May, said: “The city council spent £300,000 on what they called an ‘extensive pedestrian wayfinding system’ - much of which has ended up scrapped within a few years because it was ‘difficult and costly’ to maintain. Yet before they even put the signs in, they knew that ‘ongoing maintenance’ would cost £10,000 and that they did not have the budget for it.

“I feel let down by the failure of the dubious promise I received at the time. But more important, it shows a failing on the part of the council that these signs have simply been abandoned.

“Greens believe in attaching a much higher priority to the elimination of waste, and to re-using or recycling. It’s just common sense, really.”

Green City Councillor Lucy Galvin is to ask a question in a council meeting to find out exactly how many signs have been taken down and what the council intends to do with them.

she said: “It seems strange that the council are only now planning to review the best approach to ensuring that the signage is comprehensive enough without being unaffordable.

“They have even told me they are planning to extend the use of these signs in the riverside area – even though they are costly to maintain.

“I’d question whether it’s a good use of public funds when around the city so many jobs are going undone due to a lack of even basic maintenance budgets.”

Councillor Alan Waters, deputy leader of Norwich City Council, said: “The previous city way-finding signs were initially kept with the intention that those suitable would be reused.

“Some time has passed since this decision was made and we now need to resolve whether they should be sold off, recycled (a number are damaged), or if the posts can still be put back in to use in, for example, some of our parks and open spaces.

“A decision will be made later this year.

11 comments

  • "...the European “Liveable Cities” wayfinding project"... oh, the innumerate ways they find to waste my money (and yours, and yours too...). Never mind, keeps them in jobs.

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    lockers

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • A sign of the times?

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    Rich Hartt

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • A story of two halves. Why did'nt the EDP ask why the costs are so high? and does Norwich intend to be a tourist destination or languish in the middle ages.

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    shutters

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Yaaawn. Is this really a story???

    Report this comment

    marty r

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Yet another glaring example of the "most improved" Norwich City Council losing its way ?

    Report this comment

    NorwichSceptic

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Do the Greens really believe in re-use before recycling? What is the evidence of this in their policies?

    Report this comment

    bedoomed

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Give Drew Pritchard a call. He's the top Salvage Hunter in the country!

    Report this comment

    Davman66

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • @lockers: innumerate and illiterate it would appear.

    Report this comment

    ScotCan

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • As the photograph shows the old signs were perfectly legible and I am not sure how a sign can become outdated. I was disappointed when they were removed. They very much suited their setting; which is after all a medieval city; and needed extremely limited maintenance. I would like to see them replaced where they were taken from. Certainly melting them down would be a huge waste as the scrap value would be a small proportion of their value. The current signs are more befitting of a new town. So let's get the council to reinstate these old signs.

    Report this comment

    Robert Caldwell

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • Yet another glaring example of the "most improved" Norwich City Council losing its way ?

    Report this comment

    NorwichSceptic

    Friday, March 14, 2014

  • well the old signs were hard to read and outdated, so the new signs were a good idea but any that have been removed need to be repaired and replaced really. Surely there is substantial money in those old signs when they are melted down to pay for the maintenance?

    Report this comment

    User Removed

    Friday, March 14, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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