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Brown Tourist Signs

Volume 547: debated on Thursday 28 June 2012

The review of brown tourist signs is making good progress and we expect to publish our findings later this year. We are currently reviewing stakeholder comments on the existing requirements so that a package of options and a recommendation can be presented to Ministers.

I am glad the Minister shares my passion for brown signs, but can he assure me that the Highways Agency will work much more closely with business before removing brown signs? The agency was reckless in removing the sign on the A1 upgrade in Masham. Would the Minister like to join me for a pint of Theakston’s or Black Sheep so that he can see the evidence for himself?

My colleague, the Under-Secretary of State for Transport, the hon. Member for Hemel Hempstead (Mike Penning), might take that pint rather than me, although I am always happy to have a pint of Theakston’s—or anything else for that matter.

I agree that early involvement with business is helpful and desirable, and I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Skipton and Ripon on the work he has done on the issue. I know that my colleague, the hon. Member for Hemel Hempstead, wrote to him about it last week, and has challenged the Highways Agency to minimise the cost of the signs, including by engaging with local contractors and interest groups such as those my hon. Friend the Member for Skipton and Ripon refers to.