A Burnham-On-Sea resident has this week urged councillors to do more to protect “iconic” finger sign posts across the area after a decision by Somerset County Council to cut funding for their upkeep.
Sylvia Young told councillors at their meeting on Monday: “I wish to register my disbelief and disappointment that the County Council has decided to no longer fund the upkeep of 1,715 iconic finger sign posts across the county.”
“Apparently, motorists increasingly rely on sat nav systems instead, although I actually doubt this given their accuracy. Also, the council says it no longer considers them a priority and can no longer afford their upkeep.”
“They have also quoted health and safety issues – yellow helmets and what have you.”
“I wondered whether the council or a local group, such as the Town Team, could adopt the finger posts and clean them up.”
The County Council says it will pay to repair a fingerpost sign if it falls over or breaks, but it will not do routine maintenance or repainting. It has offered to help parish councils and community organisations apply for grants to raise the money for the work.
County Councillor David Fothergill said: “We have a budget to maintain all our highway signs which is £175,000 per year. I love the fingerposts… they are a part of our heritage but it’s becoming more and more difficult to find the money to pay for such a style.”
Town Clerk Denise Emery told this week’s council meeting she’s aware that some of Burnham’s town centre finger post signs are “looking sorry for themselves” and added that a spring clean of the town centre is being planned to smarten up the town before the tourist season gets underway.