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Brown Tourist Signs

Volume 540: debated on Thursday 23 February 2012

I thank the roads Minister, my hon. Friend the Member for Hemel Hempstead (Mike Penning), for all that he has done to sort out the brown sign debacle at Masham in my constituency. However, given that we have had quotes of £184,000 for two brown signs, will the Secretary of State look carefully as part of the review at why the signs cost so much?

We have challenged the costs that were originally proposed, and they will be substantially lower. I pay tribute to my hon. Friend and to the roads Minister for working so closely with the Highways Agency to reach what should be a good solution to improving the brown signs for Masham, and I hope that we will be able to reach a successful conclusion shortly.

Will there be some consistency on brown signs around the country? During the previous Government’s period in office, the Highways Agency removed all three signs welcoming people to Britain’s oldest recorded town. Can the Secretary of State assure us that we will have our signs reinstated?

I think that the roads Minister will be meeting the hon. Gentleman in the next few weeks. We are committed to seeing how we can make better use of brown signs not only to guide motorists to their destinations but to make sure that we in the Department of Transport play our role in helping the tourist industry to do well in this country.