Thursday, 5 April 2012

Cul-de-sac?

Our little road of 10 houses is a cul-de-sac.  The road is narrow with a small turning area at the end, which the occupants of one of the houses has 'taken over' as their personal parking space.   Therefore when a visiting car or delivery van comes down the close, it struggles to turn round and usually has to use someone else's driveway.

Since we moved in 11 years' ago, when the houses were built, we have had a sign outside our house (we are on the corner of the Close) which stated the name of the road and the fact that it was a cul-de-sac!  This sign was metal and was firmly embedded into the pavement tarmac.

On Monday, there was a ring at my doorbell and, on answering it, found two young men with a truck labelled with the local Council's "Environmental Crime Department" on the side and a trailer with a compressor on board plus many road signs.

They told me that they had a list which stated that the road sign for the Close had to be replaced - (the policy was now to use plastic) - as it was damaged and was I aware of this.  I said 'no' and together we inspected the sign, which was still firmly concreted into the pavement, no bent bits and no missing lettering, in fact a perfect sign!  After some discussion, I offered to ring the local Council to see what was going on but they didn't seem to want me to do that and decided that as the job was on the list, they would have to do it.  

Roadwork warning signs were placed in strategic areas, the compressor was fired up, a drill was produced and the old (but perfect) metal sign was removed.  The holes in the pavement had to be enlarged to take the new sign and some concrete was mixed and poured to hold the legs in place.  A neat job, they cleaned up and went - around 45 minutes in all.

After a while I went out to inspect the sign and realised that it no longer displayed the fact that the little Close was a cul-de-sac!  In my view this was asking for trouble so I fired an email off to the Council who responded quite quickly, stating that a member of the public had reported the sign damaged and they were replacing it 'in good will' (I think they meant 'good faith').  They promised to amend the sign to advise that the road is a cul-de-sac!

I have expressed my surprise to the Council that they don't send someone out to inspect reported damage, or even ask a member of the Parish Council to walk round and have a look, before going to the unnecessary expense of making a new sign - incorrectly anyway.  I wait in anticipation to see if they will somehow amend the current sign (maybe a small hanging plaque underneath the road name) or whether they will ditch this one and make a new one.

Just out of interest, the chaps who removed the metal sign, insinuated that this was being done to 'prevent metal theft'!!  I did ask them what happened to the removed signs and they told me that they were stored at the Council offices!   Maybe to be sold for scrap eventually!

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