Published: December 7, 2012
Over 20 new pedestrian signs proposed for Burnham town centre

Over 20 new pedestrian signs look set to be introduced in Burnham-On-Sea town centre as part of an £8,000 initiative to help visitors find important locations quicker and easier.

Chris Betty from Somerset County Council's highways team unveiled the proposals during a presentation to the Town Council's Town Improvements Committee this week.

He said: "Old pedestrian signs will be removed and 21 new sign posts would be introduced at strategic locations, such as street corners, to help direct shoppers from car parks to shopping areas and other facilities."

He added that the new signs would include walking distances and the average time to walk to each destination.

Locations would include commercial sites of interest such as the swimming pool, cinema, post office and pier, plus council-run facilities such as Marine Cove and the library.

Mayor Ken Smout told the meeting he supports a re-think on signage, but that the number of new signs must be kept in moderation. "We could run the risk of having death by sign-post and overwhelming visitors if there are too many," he warned.

Mr Betty said the cost of removing existing signs and introducing the new ones would be £8,600 - with funding coming from Tesco's £320,000 community cash to offset the opening of its expanded Burnham store.

The proposals come just weeks after reported here that a clampdown on confusing sign 'clutter' had been proposed by Burnham's Chamber of Trade.

"There's currently no consistent approach on what the signs are used for - they need to be improved to encourage pedestrian movement and help increase footfall in the shopping area, boosting economic activity," said Alex Turco, representing the Chamber.

The proposals will now go forward to the January meeting of the full Town Council where a decision will be made on whether this scheme - and others - will benefit from the Tesco community cash, which has been given to the town centre to offset the impact of its new extension. The ultimate decision rests with Sedgemoor District Council, which controls the overall pot of funding.


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