A sign of the times? Councillors’ concern at lack of action on road signs

© DC Thomson
Councillor Tim Brett and Councillor Jonny Tepp have raised question marks over response times.

Dismay has been expressed by two Fife councillors after it emerged damaged street signs in north Fife have still not been fixed or replaced – more than eight months after being reported.

Tay Bridgehead Liberal Democrat councillors Tim Brett and Jonny Tepp first highlighted the issue in their ward at the start of the year, but there has been little or no action taken by Fife Council to rectify the problems.

Two examples reported were in Wormit’s Westwater Place, where a bent sign is secured by only one pole, and at the junction of Shanwell Road and Links Crescent in Tayport, where the sign is so obscured it is virtually unreadable.

However, it seems the problem is getting worse instead of better in north Fife in particular, as new figures have suggested that a total of 111 street nameplates in north Fife now require repair or replacement, compared with the 60 reported in the area back in January.

“We pointed out then how we all rely on street nameplates,” Mr Brett explained.

“If we are expecting deliveries or need emergency services we expect signs to be there to show us the way.

“We are concerned not only because the situation appears to be deteriorating but also because north Fife appears to be doing relatively badly compared to mid and south Fife.”

While there are now 111 street signs in need of attention in north Fife, Mr Brett and Mr Tepp have since learned that there are just 29 in mid Fife and only 18 in south Fife.

Furthermore, although just 23 of the mid Fife signs had taken longer than usual to be rectified, around 100 in north Fife had been similarly delayed – prompting concerns that northern parts of the region were being seen as a poor relation.

On the two signs reported back in January, the pair added that they were told earlier this year that repairing or replacing a sign typically takes three months, and that it was intended to complete the work by April.

Mr Tepp noted: “The fact that the two specific signs reported eight months ago have not been repaired seems strange.

“If this is because of budget pressures we need to be honest about this to ensure that budgets for our essential infrastructure are protected.”

Kevin Smith, Lead Professional, Roads Network Management (North Fife), insisted the authority was doing its best with limited finding.

He said: “We receive a very large number of requests for sign and street name replacements across the area. In the past two years, requests have exceeded available budgets so we have to prioritise where possible.

“To keep costs down and make sure we receive the best value for money, we order signs in bulk which means it can take up to three months to replace a sign once it has been ordered from our supplier.

“Any signs which are vital for public safety will be attended to ahead of any batched orders.”