Test Valley Borough Council is set to ask the Government to delegate power to the Council to erect brown tourist signs on the A303 approaches to Andover, after the Highways Agency rejected the authority’s initial application for new signage.
As part of the Andover Summit it was identified that signage attracting people to Andover could be improved. New ‘Welcome to Andover’ signs have recently been introduced on all the A and B road approaches into the town, and the Council had hoped to erect brown tourist signs on the A303 to highlight the attractions and services on offer in the historic market town.
These signs are common across the country, but the original application sent to the Highways Agency was rejected on policy grounds.
The Council is now using the provisions of the Sustainable Communities Act 2007 to lobby central Government for the power to erect the signs. The Act provides a mechanism for communities and local authorities to ask for the right to take actions which they believe would better enable them to improve the economic, social or environmental wellbeing of their area. This can include a proposal to transfer the functions of one public body to another.
Leader of the Council, Councillor Ian Carr, said: “The idea to have brown tourist signs on the A303 approaches to Andover came from the Andover Summit initiative and was put forward by the local community to help encourage the growth of the local economy.”
“It is disappointing that our initial application for brown signs was rejected. However, the Act provides us with another opportunity to try and achieve our aim to put Andover on the map.”
Central Government has six months to consider the request.
According to the Highways Agency website, the cost of signage (as pictured) would be in the region of £17,000 – £40,000.
The cost includes design, installation, temporary traffic management and future maintenance.
The website also states “The cost of providing tourist signs is influenced by many factors that vary according to location including the wording , size and number of signs required; the positioning and protection by safety barrier where needed; and the costs relating to temporary traffic management needed to erect signs, essential to safeguard our workers and road users during installation.”
“We may also have to perform geotechnical and environmental impact investigations as part of the design process.“