Tacky or twenty-first century?

Residents, traders and councillors are angry that cast iron street signs have been taken down and replaced by modern ones.

Old fashioned black and white street signs in the Hanover area of Brighton have been taken down over the past few weeks.

Bill Randall, Green Councillor for Hanover and Elm Grove, says he is “disappointed” Brighton and Hove City Council did not consult with him or any of the residents before going ahead with the works.

He said: “It's such an odd thing to do in this time of recession – it's a total waste of money.

“Perfectly good and legible cast-iron road signs that fit the character of the area have been replaced with tacky modern signs, with no consultation with local people.

“Hanover may not be a conservation area, but it has characteristics that need conserving.”

He added: “Projects like this come at a cost. At a time when the city is strapped for cash and cutting vital services in deprived areas like Tarner, it is criminal to replace road signs unnecessarily.”

Jeremy Martin, landlord of the Dover Castle in Southover Street, is also miffed.

He recently redecorated the outside of the pub but without prior warning the council removed the street sign, leaving a gap in the new paintwork.

He said: “The old sign must have been up for more than 80 years, and when they brought it down they didn't replace like for like so now I have this terrible mark on the side of my building.

“It's so strange because on some streets round here there are signs missing on one side of the road but they haven't spent money putting one in there, they've spent money replacing perfectly good ones.

“It just makes me quite angry that at a time when binmen are striking, the council is spending money on this.”

A council spokesman defended the new signs as a necessary and environmentally-friendly option.

He said: “The council has a duty to have legible street name signs.

“An audit was done recently in this area and a lot of the signs had become worn and difficult to read which is clearly not a satisfactory situation for residents and visitors.

“A programme of replacement has therefore been undertaken.

“The new signs are made from recycled materials and offer much greater visibility.

“Restoration of the original signs would be extremely costly and time-consuming.

“Any superficial damage to the rendering of buildings affected will be made good.”