Both Home Street and Lochrin Place have too many fixed obstacles. especially in the form of parking, loading and Greenways signs. Proliferation of such fixtures is contrary to both national and local guidance (2). Specific examples include:
• Home Street West (Dukes/Anatolian) – bare pole with no sign attached (Figure 3)
• Home Street West (Cancer Research) – unnecessary ‘dead end (except cycles)’ sign (Figure 4)
On the East (narrower) side of Home Street, many of the signage poles are located towards the centre of the pavement, further causing an obstruction (see for example at No 1 Sushi, Smoking Fox). As part of the detailed design of the cycle way, all such signage should be reviewed so as to adopt one of the following hierarchy of options, in order of preference:
- consider if the sign is required at all; if not, remove altogether;
- if the signage has been assessed as required, consider an alternative location for the sign (eg move the sign to a lamppost, onto another signage pole, or on a building wall)
if this is not possible, locate the signage pole as close to the kerb as possible, and group signs onto a single pole. Poles should have sufficient contrast in colour/tone to help visually impaired people to avoid them.
Signage poles are not the only fixed obstacles; there are a number of guard rails on the street which should be removed unless there are compelling and genuine reasons for retaining them – these include the south side of Home Street East (outside Cuckoo’s Nest) and the north side of Home Street West (outside Omnicare).
There are a number of utility/junction boxes on the pavements – for example, on Home Street East Post Office, Kings Arms, Cuckoo’s Nest. As with all fixed street furniture, their need should be assessed and removed if possible. Where they need to remain, it is recommended that they should display some colour contrast to minimise the risk they pose to visually impaired pedestrians – the uniform light grey colouring makes them particularly difficult to see at present.
Cycle parking is covered below – with regard to street furniture, we would emphasise that the current use of guardrails etc for cycle parking is no justification for retaining fixed street clutter.
Finally, near the Cameo cinema, a group of three telephone kiosks forms a particular obstruction. One of these, a BT phone box at Subway (Figure 5) is completely gutted internally (despite the ‘temporarily out of order’ sign) and should be removed, with any repairs to the footway implemented to reinstate the pavement surface appropriately.