Leading article: The end of the road for intrusive signs?


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The Independent Online

Three cheers for proposals to rid Dorset's villages of unsightly road signs, rub out white lines and do away with loathed traffic cameras.

Most obvious are the aesthetics of the matter. The picturesque hamlets of Hardy country have hardly been enhanced by thickets of super-reflective signage and batteries of traffic-calming "street furniture".

The fact that such things are largely ignored by motorists only adds to the case in favour. In fact, the most gratifying element of the whole scheme is the evidence that those same drivers who roar past intrusive signage without a second glance react instinctively to subtler environmental hints. Tables outside a pavement café tend to make people slow down, for example.

How wonderful – and how wonderfully obvious – that we respond better to the evidence of our senses than to arbitrary diktats. But do we dare try it at Spaghetti Junction?