Shabby signs are bad for city’s image

Ripon resident and volunteer Trixie Slade with piece of the broken off Welome to Ripon sign. (1104191AMa)
Ripon resident and volunteer Trixie Slade with piece of the broken off Welome to Ripon sign. (1104191AMa)

Signs welcoming visitors into Ripon’s city centre are shabby, falling to pieces, and bad for the city’s image, according to a resident and volunteer.

Of the four signs on roads to the city centre, one on Palace Road is lying in a ditch, one on North Road was until recently graffitied to read ‘Welcome to TRipon’ although this has now been corrected, and signs on both Harrogate Road and Pateley Bridge Road are in a poor state of repair, said city resident and Ripon in Bloom volunteer Trixie Slade.

The Welcome to Ripon sign in a ditch on Palace Road. (1104101AMd)

The Welcome to Ripon sign in a ditch on Palace Road. (1104101AMd)

“They are in dire need of urgent attention.

“Most of them have been there since 1986, and not a lot has been done to them since. I have been trying to make this point through Ripon in Bloom for some time.”

The signs are the first things visitors see when they arrive in the city and, she says, do not give a good first impression.

Mrs Slade has written to the city council asking them to help get the signs repaired and repainted, and her concerns have been forwarded to Harrogate Borough Council.

Ripon Mayor Coun David Elsy confirmed the council received a letter of complaint about the state of the signage around Tuesday, April 5, which he said was too late to be addressed at the following week’s Finance and General Purposes Committee. The letter was then sent on to the Harrogate Borough Council.

Chairman of the Ripon Civic Society David Winpenny shares Mrs Slade’s concerns.

“Obviously we would like the signs to be in good condition and to be looked after.

“Anything that detracts from the look of the city isn’t good.”

Ripon city trader and Ripon and District Chamber of Trade chairman Stephen Craggs agreed, saying the shabby signs did the city a “disservice” by giving visitors a poor first impression of the city.

“If they are in a bad state they give a bad impression of the city and would be better off taken down than left up in that condition,” he said.

A spokesman for Harrogate Borough Council confirmed they are responsible for the upkeep of decorative signs but said the council do not schedule any painting work for April as the weather is usually too wet.

Mr Craggs went on to say that many of the signs round the city were out of date and confusing for visitors.

“At the moment the signage on the entrances to the city and around the city centre are cluttered and a right old mish mash. They really need to do a proper signage audit and remove all the unnecessary and out of date signs.”

A North Yorkshire County Council spokesman confirmed that after discussions with Ripon Retail Partnership they have removed redundant signs and relocated others to “reduce roadside clutter.”

Mrs Slade, who lives off Palace Road, has been in Ripon for 15 years. She helps maintain the flower beds on Pateley Bridge Road and Palace Road, the Temple and Courtyard Gardens.