No sign shall be given unto them

MAYBE I was away on holiday or simply transfixed by the recent election of a new Labour Party leader.

MAYBE I was away on holiday or simply transfixed by the recent election of a new Labour Party leader.

What I must have missed was the recent buy-one get-one-free offer that there seems to have been on road signs: they might have been a real bargain, but did they need to erect them all? Could they not have simply left them stored away in a yard of the Highways Agency somewhere?

New road signs seem to be appearing like a rash all over the countryside, and this seems particularly noticeable locally. What has really wound me up is two local placements of speed limit signs where obviously no thought seems to have been given to it at all.

Location one is the 50 and 40 mph speed limit recently introduced on the A1123 St Ives Road from the Hartford roundabout (including Houghton Hill Road). I have no problem with the establishment of these speed limits, and I am sure the residents of those big houses on Houghton Hill Road are delighted – and deserve to have – the 40mph limit past their homes (especially the one that has had two or three vehicles in the garden over the years).

What I don’t understand, though, is why, when you approach the bend at the top of the hill (signs saying MAX 30mph), it goes back to 50mph until it meets the original 40mph limit as you enter Houghton Road, St Ives.

Correct me if I am mistaken, but I think they may be building two fairly large new housing estates on both sides of that piece of road – which one anticipates will lead to many more vehicles entering the A1123 from those estates – and they have made it 50mph.

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Why not have made it 40mph all the way from the cemetery to the 30mph at Hill Rise and saved all those extra signs?

Location two: After the installation of the pelican crossing and traffic light control of the A141 and the Kings Ripton Road, they have, (perhaps rightly so), made the entire length of that piece of road now subject to a 50mph speed limit. The crazy part is that, as you turn left from the A141 to enter St Peter’s Road (at Tesco), they have erected national speed limit signs, which are effective for a distance of only some 75 metres at most. It is dual carriageway so technically you could drive at 70mph. What was the point?

My final gripe is that these signs seem never to be maintained – never cleaned, never repaired after damage and not replaced after being stolen, leaving just the pole with no sign attached.

I had occasion to drive through village of Papworth Everard the other day and started to count the number of separate pieces of street furniture: lights, bollards, signs, central reservations etc. I got to over 150 and then lost count.

MARTIN WILSHER

Mulberry Close

Huntingdon

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