MORE than £108,000 was spent putting up new signs which are being slammed as “pointless”.
Brighton and Hove City Council put up 39 signs dotted around the city costing £2,772.68 each – racking up a £108,134.52 total bill.
Kemp Town resident Martin Wood was so enraged by the signs he said: “I have seen these signs popping up all over the place and they are pointless.
“Everyone I have spoken to has agreed they can’t understand what they are for.
“Some of them are in residential areas. I’m sure most residents don’t need telling where the North Laine is.
“There is one outside the Pavilion saying where the Pavilion is. The worst thing is they still have the old brown signs which are perfectly good enough.
“With all the council tax rises and budget cuts, to spend £108,000 on new signs is ridiculous.
“I would like to know who had the bright idea to spend so much of our money on these signs.
“They say they are there to help people in wheelchairs, but the maps are too high up for people in wheelchairs to see.
“To cover residential areas is just silly and people in wheelchairs won’t be able to see them.
“And they are already all covered in fly posters and graffiti.”
One sign in Southover Street had been covered with stickers yesterday. Mr Wood asked Brighton City Council under the Freedom of Information Act to reveal the cost of the signs.
In their response the council said: “As part of an agreed programme of investment in improvements to directional signing for residents and visitors travelling on foot or in a wheelchair/scooter, 39 additional new signs have been purchased and installed recently (during 2014). The total price of each sign was £2772.68, inclusive of installation.”
The visitor information centre next to the Pavilion was closed last September and replaced by eight “pop-up” points where tourists and day-trippers are able to pick up advice and support from a series of new points at businesses and buildings across the city centre.
The council’s website advises local businesses against using too many signs and says that there are “issues with having too many signs on the highway and also with advertising.”
The Argus asked the council to justify the expenditure on the signs. A spokeswoman said that the people responsible could not be contacted yesterday but said the signs were not paid for from council taxpayers’ money.
When the signs were introduced Councillor David Smith, cabinet member for culture and tourism, said: “The new signs will make it much easier for visitors to find the main attractions and discover some of the city’s hidden secrets without getting lost.
“Research has shown that people are more likely to return to a city if they have found it easy to get around.”