WHEN is Cheshire East Council going to admit
they got it wrong when they decided that there should not be road signs
in the centre of Nantwich - and restore them?
I'm more than a little tired of
having to tell motorists who stop me for directions that "You should be
going that way" (as I point in the opposite direction to which they are
travelling) "but you could turn round just up there, if you like."
The look of frustration on
their faces after a long time of going round in circles trying to get
out of Nantwich becomes one of despair as they realise they aren't going
to get straight directions such as "Go down there, take the second road
on the right, and then straight on."
The last time this happened, a
"turn round" instruction wasn't possible. The car with a driver and a
passenger, was standing in a narrow housing estate road with several
cars parked in the near vicinity. I decided against suggesting a
three-point turn (actually more like twenty three points might have been
necessary), and decided to send them on a
longer route in the hope of
getting them to an area where there were
that could get them home. Actually, if I was wrong about
the signs - I must check some time -
they could have ended up in Crewe or, worse still, in Stoke-on-Trent - 16 or more
miles away from Nantwich. If that had happened I don't know what time
they would have got to their destination.
I knew we were in trouble when the
driver said: "We aren't on the A49 any more, are we?" Well, no. They
hadn't been on the A49 for many miles. I didn't ask, but I'm guessing
that they decided on a detour to see Nantwich - a move they must have
Fortunately, they could reach
their destination on another road out of Nantwich - if only I could get them on to it .
Don't misunderstand me. I don't
mind trying to help lost motorists. Not at all. But that's a job I would
rather not do - if only the council would put the signs back!
WHAT has Cheshire East against road signs?
Actually, it isn't ALL signs. We still have signs directing drivers to
car parks (for which there is a parking charge, of course)
and from which, in all probability, the
people in the cars will wish to see the town on foot - and spend some
money in the shops.
As I found out in August 2009, it is all
to do with road classification. As I said at the time: "A member of staff in Cheshire East
Council highways department told me it was all to do with the
reclassification of Millstone Lane from an A road to a B road. It seems
that B roads don't have road signs . . .! (Unless things have changed since then!).
The highways man went on: "The idea is
to get cars and lorries not to use certain roads in Nantwich."
True, there had been an
accident involving a lorry in which two pedestrians walking along the
footpath were killed.
So presumably car drivers have to suffer so that
lorry drivers can't find there way into town with which they are not
familiar. But then, what about sat navs . . .?
But, with several supermarkets
in town, lorries keeping supplies on the shelves topped up are in town
regularly because they know their way without the need for signs.