LETTER TO NRA - April 2002
National Roads Authority
St Martins House
15 April 2002
the absence of even the courtesy of a reply to my previous correspondence (dated
23rd January) to you yet, I find myself compelled to write to you yet again on
the subject of sign-posting.
most regular travellers to and from the West of Ireland, I anticipated and very
much welcomed the opening of the Enfield bypass last Friday, however, even by
the traffic report on Friday afternoon, I was disappointed to hear the regular
refrain of two mile tailbacks outside Enfield, owing to, as the report said,
"confusion by motorists heading for Galway". On hearing this my simple
reaction was "signposts?"
heading West myself on Saturday morning, I arrived at the new roundabout on the
Dublin side of Enfield, leading to the new section of road and, sure enough, all
that was in evidence was a sign, on the approach, for Sligo and none for Galway
or Westport or Castlebar. Then on the roundabout itself was a sign for "All
other routes". Continuing along the new road and approaching the second new
roundabout, I encountered signs for Sligo again and this time a sign for Galway
too (Still no Westport or Castlebar) and, on the roundabout, another one of
those wonderfully ambiguous "All other routes".
all my previous correspondence on the whole matter of National sign posting
planning, I am compelled to inquire what "cretin" is responsible for
this latest sign-posting cock-up? I do not apologise for my use of words,
because it is nothing less than yet another example of totally unconsidered,
un-thought out, token sign posting, yet again erected on a Main National Route.
I have been informed in previous correspondence, both from yourselves and the
Minister for the Environment's Office, that your body has responsibility for
National Route Sign-posting and planning and yet again the logic, or lack of, in
this NEW sign-posting show no trace of any planning or consultation process.
you not appreciate the ambiguity of a sign "All other routes" for
people approaching a roundabout, even at 40mph. Can you not appreciate the
mentality or impulse of an average driver, when encountering a sign for
"All other routes", their natural impulse or necessity is to engage in
a mental process of elimination by attempting to read the other signs, to figure
out exactly which routes are included and excluded from "all other
routes". Can you not see the idiocy and lack of continuity in placing signs
at the end of the bypass for Galway and Sligo while only placing one for Sligo
at the beginning of it? The phrase "You can't get there from here"
springs to mind for this, along with countless other examples around the
you not appreciate the nonsensical situation, whereby there are no signs
whatsoever on the new road for Castlebar or Westport (The N5), yet in the past,
somewhere someone decreed that there was a necessity to include them in a
confirmation signpost, less than 100 yards on the Western side of the bypass?
your department even attempt to take on board the suggestions and criticisms,
which I imagine you receive on a regular basis? Are you so arrogant and self
righteous that you refuse to acknowledge or learn anything from past errors, but
instead are adamantly determined to repeat, again and again, the same mistakes,
even on new road development sign posting such as this and Kinnegad and Sligo
again I have to ask, is there not one person in charge to address and
co-ordinate this issue and to take responsibility and show leadership and
collate feedback. If there is not, why not and if there is, what the hell are
they up to and do they actually even drive the roads to experience the situation
themselves? I would suggest that if there is indeed a person in charge, that
their track record raises serious questions about their judgement and their
competency for the position, as well as their diligence and dedication to their
job, where blatant examples of their inadequacy confront them, and everyone
else, everywhere they drive in the country.
again I conclude with an offer or self-serving suggestion. If you have no one to
take on the job of sorting out Ireland's signposts give me the job. Give me a
six month contract and I'll drive all the roads of Ireland (I'll even quote you
a price as a self-employed person, consultancy plus travel plus incidental
expenses - You don't need take me on full time). I'll get on to the media and
drum up public feedback and suggestions and criticisms. I'll co-ordinate efforts
with Bord Failte and The Ordnance Survey Office and Michelin to ensure that sign
posting concurs with maps in circulation for Ireland. On an ongoing basis and at
the end of the six months I'll submit reports backed up with photographic
evidence and other documentation of suggestions and recommendation on what
should be done by way of improvement.
even before this latest incident, I'd been meaning to write to you again. Some
weeks ago on the N60 approaches to my local village of Breaffy, outside
Castlebar, two new standard town and village type signs were erected, EVEN
THOUGH the local community council had already in place two attractive and
coherent limestone signs for the village, erected as a Millennium project back
in 1999, both within 50 yards of the two new signposts. Is there not something
inherently wrong with both County and National level sign-posting, that totally
un-needed signs, such as these, can be erected on secondary national routes,
when the primary national routes are crying out with glaring examples of sign
post omissions? If you can justify this, 'cos I can't, I'd welcome an answer.
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