Re: Re: Road signs

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#749392
MT
Participant

I agree, Niall. Yes, local authorities should be stripped of their road management responsibilities. They’ve had their chance and have proven themselves woefully inadequate. A centralised approach involving one gov. department and agency seems to be the best alternative.

At present 31 local authorities, are responsible for driving tests in their own area.

Thats surprising. Although there are a number of agencies responsible for driving tests in the UK – mind nowhere near 31 – as far as I’m aware there is only one universal test with no variation in assessment standards.

Hi Graham

It’s a totally different culture – although one must accept that Britain is of course a much more developed nation.

I often think the differences on both counts are overstated. While I agree levels of maintenance are lower in the Republic this may have more to do with small inefficient councils (many British councils having populations equivalent to the entire south) than any increased laxity in attitude. As I said in previous posts the Northern Ireland route may be the approach to follow in solving this problem – complete centralisation.

Having said all this, and getting back to an architectural/engineering theme, I think poor maintenance can be overstated as the cause of the Republic’s shoddy and patchy signage. Afterall, if a junction has no signs to begin with maintenance isn’t the issue. Instead, I’d argue that the main cause of the south’s signage appearing as if a hurricane had just blown through is its poor quality/construction to begin with. The signs just aren’t built to last.

The sheeting/plates that the signs consist of is thin and flimsy. Far too often signs are placed on one pole and not two, allowing them to be knocked around by passing traffic etc. As for foundations, is any standard amount of concrete adhered to? Clearly not often enough, as about every second or third sign in the Republic leans over – far too many for the cause to be driver collisions. By simply avoiding these flaws up here and in Britain signs require little to no maintenance in the first place, remaining in good standard for years.

Take traffic lights. In Northern Ireland it is extremely rare to find any that lean over. Yet, in Dublin alone a huge number have slowly but surely developed a lean in one direction or another. Not enough to suggest vehicular collisions but rather that foundations have been skimped on. Were they erected properly in the first there’d be no need to straighten/maintain them when they eventually lean too far. Finally, it goes without saying that when a sign does have a run in with a motorist the more robust the construction the better it’s chances of remaining in reasonable nick.

To illustrate this point an interesting experiment could be conducted. Take two similar Irish towns in the same county and replace all the signage/signals in one with their UK equivalents. Construct them to UK standards and then suspend all maintenance. Come back in five years and I think you’d notice a considerable difference in signage ‘depreciation’ from one town to the other. Alright, this will never happen but it’s a curious idea all the same.

My god, what a long-winded post. If your still awake, my apologies. I just feel that dilapidated and shoddy streetscapes – of which signage plays a big part – detract so much from the architecture in their midst. Should add too that the UK isn’t necessarily the best place for Ireland to learn from, just the one I’m most familiar with.

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