Taking no notice

NO matter what you do these days, there seems to be a clamour from County Hall to regulate it, ban it or try to squeeze every last drop of revenue from it.

The latest barrier facing people in rural north Northumberland is the crackdown on signs advertising traditional village shows or small businesses, something which has been done for generations without any upset.

However, council rules on the permissible size of banners has meant people now being threatened with legal action unless they remove their signs within five days. According to the authority, large signs such as the one on the A697 promoting Glanton Show is a danger to passing motorists because of its size.

However, there is also the underlying hypocrisy of the council placing its own signs on roundabouts. Because they are within the prescribed size limits, they can be difficult to read – surely a more dangerous situation, as motorists require all of their concentration when negotiating several lanes of moving traffic approaching from different directions.

Common sense tells you that all signs take a driver’s attention away from the road, even momentarily, but that doesn’t mean larger ones are any worse than smaller versions. In fact, most people would agree that the largest signs impart information in the shortest time.

Unfortunately, where common sense once prevailed, dogged bureaucracy now takes precedence – you either obey policy to the letter or suffer the consequences.