‘Accidents will happen’ - dirty road signs risk causing collisions, says bus driver

Another sign which looks like its showing a turning in the road completely obscured by the shrubbery

Another sign which looks like its showing a turning in the road completely obscured by the shrubbery. Picture: JOHN SHERMAN - Credit: Archant

Suffolk’s road signs are unreadable and could cause accidents - according to a bus driver who said their poor state meant he nearly crashed.

John Sherman is a bus driver for Harlequin Travel and is frustrated that everywhere in the county th

John Sherman is a bus driver for Harlequin Travel and is frustrated that everywhere in the county there are road signs that are either obscured or too dirty to read. Picture: JOHN SHERMAN - Credit: Archant

Harlequin Travel bus driver John Sherman from Ipswich, aged 50, has started a social media campaign to draw attention to the issue.

Mr Sherman said: "Someone is going to come down a road and end up in a field or a hedge soon.

"I drive buses so I see all of this.

"These are warning signs so they're important and if you don't have them accidents will happen.

This road sign is almost entirely obscured by the hedge on the side of the road. Picture: JOHN SHERM

This road sign is almost entirely obscured by the hedge on the side of the road. Picture: JOHN SHERMAN - Credit: Archant


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"I nearly had a head-on collision with someone myself on the Old Norwich road in Claydon recently."

Many of the road signs that Mr Sherman has photographed for his campaign are shown to be either covered in dirt and grit from the passing vehicles - or concealed by shrubbery so they are unrecognisable.

MORE: Suffolk Highways launch community self-help schemeBut Suffolk Highways has claimed it cannot afford to maintain the roads unless it is an issue of safety.

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A spokesman said: "The limitations on local authority budgets means that Suffolk Highways must prioritise its funding and focus on maintaining a safe network for all users.

In the distance a small sign has been entirely obscured by the hedge meaning drivers won't be able t

In the distance a small sign has been entirely obscured by the hedge meaning drivers won't be able to read it. Picture: JOHN SHERMAN - Credit: Archant

"As a result, we now only prioritise the maintenance of mandatory signage and warning signage on major routes."

But Mr Sherman is concerned the risk will increase when the clocks change for winter.

He said: "As winter is nearly here, the nights are getting longer and the reflective strips on the signs are more important.

"But most of them have worn away and they're easy to replace.

This sign indicates a weight limit on the roads ahead, but is too far in to the shrubbery to read. P

This sign indicates a weight limit on the roads ahead, but is too far in to the shrubbery to read. Picture: JOHN SHERMAN - Credit: Archant

"I get that the council might not want to replace a whole metal sign due to costs, but the reflective strips are easily done.

"It will cost them more in the long run if they don't maintain them properly."

Mr Sherman hopes that his social media campaign will bring awareness and put pressure on the council to maintain the signs to a better standard.

The Suffolk Highways spokesman added: "We encourage the public to report safety defects to us via our highways online reporting tool.

This speed limit sign is so dirty that drivers may struggle to read it until they are right next to

This speed limit sign is so dirty that drivers may struggle to read it until they are right next to it. Picture: JOHN SHERMAN - Credit: Archant

"Once we are aware of a specific issue, we can arrange an inspection and repair."

To report a highways issue, visit https://highwaysreporting.suffolk.gov.uk/

To report a highways issue use the online reporting tool found here.

This sign is buried deep in the hedge meaning no drivers will be able to see what it really means. P

This sign is buried deep in the hedge meaning no drivers will be able to see what it really means. Picture: JOHN SHERMAN - Credit: Archant

This 'no entry' sign has worn away to the point where most drivers would struggle to see it until th

This 'no entry' sign has worn away to the point where most drivers would struggle to see it until they are too close to stop. Picture: JOHN SHERMAN - Credit: Archant

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