REPLACEMENT plastic road signs are still being stolen, Thurrock councillors were told on Wednesday (25 January).
At full council Cllr Andy Smith, portfolio holder for transport, was answering a question from Cllr Danny Nicklen, who asked: “After reporting the issue of missing road signs in Stanford to Highways and raising it at full council last year, little or no progress has been made. Will the portfolio holder ensure the missing signs are replaced as a matter of urgency?”
Cllr Smith told the meeting that around 30 “safety related” signs in the Stanford area had been replaced.
He said: “Dealing with stolen signs remains an issue across Thurrock and the country.
Signs continue to be stolen including some of the plastic ones, and there is a considerable backlog of missing signs — well beyond the budget available.
“We are therefore programming the replacement of signs according to a number of factors.”
Cllr Smith said: “If a road has a substantial number of signs stolen, that road will be prioritised as high ranking; warning signs rank the highest priority, regulatory signs next and directional signage as the least high priority.
“There is also the issue of the condition of the existing signposts. If the posts are not up to specification the whole assembly will have to be replaced, so consideration will be given to the financial implications for replacing the sign.”
Speaking afterwards, Cllr Smith said: “I’m not sure what else we can do. We know metal signs are attracting thieves so we use plastic ones and we put notices on the back saying they are plastic and worthless, yet still they are taken.
“I know the phrase ‘thoughtless thieves’ is a bit of a cliché, but it seems rather apt in these cases!”