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Clearing the Clutter

Unnecessary roadside signs came down in the Surrey Hills village of Albury this week in what is hoped is the start of a roll-out scheme across rural villages in Surrey. Corroded metal highway signs that spoiled the natural environment of one of Surrey’s most picturesque villages have been removed as part of a new ‘Decluttering’ scheme. The scheme is the brainchild of the Surrey Hills Board in a bid to maintain the rural character of the Surrey Hills.

Liz Cutter, Vice Chairman of the Surrey Association of Local Councils and Chair of the Surrey Hills Quiet Lanes & Decluttering Working Group comments; ”‘De-cluttering’ is the process of removing unnecessary roadside and village signage clutter to help reinforce the rural character of the Surrey Hills. Research shows us that reducing unnecessary signing actually benefits road users who find it hard to distinguish those signs which provide crucial information from those which do not. Less signs actually help to discourage through traffic and HGV movements from our country lanes.”

Liz continues; “Many road signs are not mandatory. They are put in place by the local highway authority and can be removed at its discretion. We want to encourage local people through their parish council to assess their local road signs and recommend any individual signs should be removed or relocated. It is only by working together that we can make a difference”.

Surrey County Council is backing the scheme to de-clutter villages of unnecessary signage in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Jason Russell, Surrey County Council Deputy Director for Environment & Infrastructure comments;

“As the County highway authority, we are particularly focussed on keeping the highway network safe and serviceable, especially at a time when our budgets are becoming ever more constrained. This means that we are not always able to provide improvements that for us are non-essential, but are important locally.

The de-cluttering scheme is an excellent example of how Parish Councils can make a real improvement to the appearance of their area. I am very impressed with what has been achieved, and delighted to support it.”

If you would like to see less roadside clutter in your village simply visit the Surrey Hills website to find out more http://www.surreyhills.org/board/de-cluttering/ or contact the Surrey Hills office on 01372 220653 to discuss your requirements as funding may be available.

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