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Letter: Why are so many discarded highways signs littering our national park?

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SIR – Recently with a friend of mine I did a litter-pick along a local main road.

It is a lovely road through the middle of the national park and we had both become fed up with driving along it and looking at takeaway coffee cups, water bottles, snack wrappers and, amazingly, a large number of beer cans and bottles presumably thrown from vehicles as the drivers or their passengers finished consuming the contents.

The exercise yielded two full black bags of rubbish. It also yielded a pile of highways signage.

Most of it is plastic signage relating to a road dressing exercise carried out many weeks ago in the high summer. Some of the signs had to be wrestled from bramble patches, others dragged from ditches.

Some had been lying so long the grass beneath them was nearly dead.

Even though we left some of the few signs which remained upright, we filled a large car with plastic boards, wooden stakes and long black cable ties.

There were even metal signs which seemed to have lain in the grass for years.

We have both also lost an hour or so of our lives looking for a way to contact Hampshire County Council via their website.

Their bizarrely prescriptive web page has no obvious way to notify them about their own abandoned signage and it is impossible to use the map tool they provide to mark the location of the (very many) signs they leave strewn about.

The only phone number I came across is not functioning, says the recorded message, due to coronavirus. Perhaps it is self-isolating?

We will go on trying to track someone down to get them to pick up their leavings but, in the meantime, I wonder whether other local residents have noticed the same profligacy with signage and the accompanying disinclination Hampshire County Council show in clearing up after themselves?

A. Lawrence,


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