A ‘DEFECTIVE’ ‘no entry’ sign at a busy city centre junction could be putting motorists at risk.
Campaigners are worried a vital ‘no entry’ sign at the junction of Well Street and Corporation could be missed by motorists because it it is on the floor.
The sign is on the side of a bollard, hidden behind a concrete sphere and often obscured by pedestrians waiting to cross the road.
Guidelines issued by the Department for Transport (DfT) state ‘terminal signs’, such as ‘give way’ and ‘no entry’ signs “must be directly illuminated during the hours of darkness when placed within a street lit area.”
They also say local authorities must give ‘careful consideration’ to proposals to mount sings at low height when there is a risk they could go unnoticed by motorists or be obscured by pedestrians.
Local road safety campaigner, Richard Heneghan, said: “At a time when the city of Coventry is experiencing dramatic change and significant redevelopment, it has never been more vital that road users and pedestrians alike are properly and safely informed of the ever-changing landscape.
“Coventry Council have both a moral and legal obligation to ensure that this happens.
“This particular No Entry sign is a terminal sign and therefore it is fair to say it is one of the most important road signs.
“It beggars belief that not only was it placed on the floor behind a pre-existing concrete sphere, but that Coventry Council have attempted to rebut any concerns regarding this sign.
“It is defective and not fit for purpose.
“I urge Coventry Council to ensure that the safety of the public is not compromised simply because they may not like the source of the criticism”.
Coun Tim Mayer, Conservative councillor for Westwood, believes the sign was installed as part of the council’s regeneration work to improve the look of the city centre.
Part of this has seen many unsightly, high-level signs replaced by less intrusive signs where possible.
But he argues this need to ‘unclutter’ must not come at a cost of public safety.
Echoing his calls for a review into the ‘no entry’ sign at the junction, shadow cabinet member for city services Coun Gary Ridley said: “It’s important to keep street furniture and signage to a minimum to improve the appearance of the streetscene – but safety is even more important.
“I’m very concerned that the inadequate ‘no entry’ signage at the junction of Well Street could compromise the safety of drivers and pedestrians.
“What we need is an urgent review of the situation so we can find a solution that works for everyone.”
The Observer asked the council whether the sign was compliant with DfT guidelines and whether they would investigate the concerns raised by Mr Heneghan and the Conservative councillors.
The council failed to respond to our inquiries at time time of press.
These latest calls come just months after Coventry council was forced to remove incorrect signs around the city despite councillors insisting all signs were ‘compliant’ with DfT regulations.