October 13, 2015
New roadside signs 'discourage visitors from coming into Burnham'

The benefits of introducing roadside events traffic management signs in Burnham-On-Sea have been debated this week amid claims that they are putting off some visitors from coming into the town.

The temporary blue and white signs are positioned around Burnham next to main roads to give motorists advance warning of road closures in the town centre in the run-up to large events.

Town Centre Manager Beverley Milner Simonds proposed at a Town Council meeting on Monday night (October 12th) that a further six of the blue and white signs are introduced.

However, councillors questioned whether they are having a positive effect. Cllr Peter Burridge-Clayton said: "I'm not happy about these signs - they put off motorists coming into the town. On one Saturday when they were out this year, there were no coaches in the coach car park because the drivers thought there would be big parking issues in the town."

Cllr Martin Cox added: "The road closures wording suggests that there will be huge queues all round the town centre during these events, putting people off coming."

Cllr Nick Tolley agreed: "The colour and style of the signs makes it look there's been an emergency or disaster rather than providing advice about happy, colourful positive events in the town."

The Town Centre Manager said she'd received positive feedback from traders about the signs and that they would like to see more of them used in the town to help with traffic management.

Discussions will be held with the county highways team about the colour and wording of the signs for further consideration later in the year.

The signs - which are being operated on a trial basis - are put out approximately 14 days before key events such as Burnham FolkFest, the Christmas lights switch-on, Highbridge and Burnham Carnival and the two Food & Drink Festivals.

The Town Centre Manager proposed that the existing traffic management wording was altered to remove the 'next event' words which had caused some confusion and introduce six new signs that would say 'businesses open as usual'.

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