Strong objections to A59 roundabout signage plans

The A59 roundabout.
The A59 roundabout.
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"Endangering highway safety for extra revenue should not be permitted" was the forthright response from local parish councillors regarding proposals to erect sponsored advertising signs on an A59 roundabout.

Members of Barrow Parish Council have strongly objected to plans submitted by Lancashire County Council to erect three signs on the A59 roundabout that leads to the Barrow Brook Industrial Park - home to several food retailers including McDonalds and KFC.

A total of 13 letters have also been received by Ribble Valley Borough Council's planning department objecting to the proposals which will be discussed at a meeting of its planning and development committee tomorrow night.

Victoria Wilson, clerk to Barrow Parish Council, said: "The parish council has raised highway safety concerns on this stretch of road for many years."

She added: "It is believed that the roundabout is too small to deal with the amount of traffic using the A59, with vehicles often swerving across the two lanes when travelling towards Clitheroe.

"Also, highway planners did not anticipate the expansion of the Barrow Brook Industrial Park and two very large residential estates which leads to significant delays for those entering the A59 at busy times and increases the potential for risk taking.

"The roundabout should be kept as clear as possible, with visual clutter and advertising distractions kept to an absolute minimum. Advertising on strategic roads is not permitted and a road safety audit would identify advertising on this roundabout as a major risk."

The plans are part of an existing sponsorship scheme run by LCC and, if approved, three individual advertisement signs would be erected providing an opportunity for businesses to advertise for a minimum of one year.

Measuring 1.5m by 0.5m in size, the signs would be non-illuminated, erected on stainless steel posts and would be set back from the roundabout edge by approximately one metre.

Recommending that consent is granted, a report by a RVBC planning officer said: "The LCC highways officer has assessed the proposed application and has considered that the signage does not raise any highway concerns and therefore has no objection to the application.

"It is considered that the proposed signage would share an acceptable relationship with the immediate commercial surroundings and would not have any undue impact upon highway safety. The quantity and scale of signage proposed is considered to be proportionate to the scale of the site and thus the proposed development is considered to be acceptable in accordance with the Ribble Valley Core Strategy."

At the moment, apart from official highways signs, the roundabout is void from any other official advertisement signage.