The coalition government has asked communities and local authorities to work together to reduce ‘street clutter’…

Communities secretary Eric Pickles and transport secretary Philip Hammond have called on councils to remove unnecessary street furniture such as traffic signs, bollards, road markings and advertising boards. To help local authorities decide what to keep and what to axe, the Department for Transport will be publishing guidance later this year based on a review of traffic signs policy.

“Too many overly cautious townhall officials are citing safety regulations as the reason for cluttering up our streets,” commented Pickles, “but common sense tells us that uncluttered streets are safer and easier to maintain.” He added that excessive street furniture was a waste of taxpayers’ money, which could be “better spent on fixing potholes or keeping council tax down”.

In line with the coalition government’s Big Society initiative, citizens are also invited to inform councils of street clutter in their local area.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England has welcomed this move, which will help tackle clutter in both rural and urban areas. Senior transport campaigner Ralph Smyth said: “With public spending limited and the public calling for action, it makes sense to encourage community groups to assess and address the problem in the local areas they know best.”

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