Saturday, August 15, 2009

Countryside Clutter.

'Appearing' on Country Focus tomorrow, wearing my President of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales hat. The discussion (with Melanie Dole) is about countryside 'clutter'.

Now I don't mean the sort of obscenity featuring in the third photograph on this post (below), which you will be surprised to learn is not a scene from the centre of Tokyo. Its one that I took last year on the A458 trunk road just outside Newtown in Montgomeryshire. I passed the same spot today, without camera, and if anything the position has deteriorated. Neither is it about the temporary fly posting that sometimes disfigures our countryside. These are both important issues which could be the subject of separate posts. No, what I mean are the wholly unnecessary or duplicating signs erected by public authorities. When Mel asked me for an example of what I meant, I referred to the speed restriction signs as entering Berriew, the stunningly beautiful Montgomeryshire village where I'm so fortunate to live. Now, I have no argument with the two restriction signs themselves - even if they are garish and the blue parts, informing us that the police are going to enforce the restriction seem superfluous. I cannot see any reason for the intrusive writing on the road. But what I really object to is the wholly unnecessary top photograph, warning us that there is a speed restriction sign ahead. What is the point? If the 30mph restriction signs were obscured, or close to a corner, I could accept them. But they are not. Anyone who cannot see these signs in time to slow down should not have a licence. And this sort of thing is repeated all over the country. Its costly and unsightly.

As for this obscenity, the photograph speaks for itself. Its on one of Wales' busiest trunk roads - one which is travelled by almost everyone heading for the tourism dependent Cardigan Bay hinterland. Imagine Constable painting it and calling it 'A View from Rural Wales'.

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