SEFTON Council chiefs have been criticised for refusing to provide brown tourism signs for Wesley Street in Southport town centre.
The resort’s MP Damien Moore has been campaigning for two years for the signage to be provided to encourage more visitors to use the local businesses in the area. Wesley Street is known locally as ‘the village within the town’ and is loved for its brightly-coloured buildings, collection of independent local shops and cafes and popular community events.
However the MP’s latest request for signage has been refused by Sefton Council Highways department, who responded: “As you know, Wesley Street is pedestrianised for most of the day, and vehicular direction signage would be directing drivers to an area which cannot be accessed by vehicles. The primary reason for brown and white tourism signage is to direct vehicular traffic to an attraction and that they should not be used as an advertising medium.”
Brown tourist signs are traditionally designed to safely guide visitors to a tourist destination along the most appropriate route for the final stage of their journey. They also indicate attractions or facilities that a tourist would not reasonably expect to find in that location.
Southport MP Damien Moore said: “I am disappointed by Sefton Council’s refusal to provide simple signage to guide people towards our famous Wesley Street area of Southport.
“Local independent businesses are the lifeblood of our town and they need support more than ever after the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“For Sefton Council to say that the Wesley Street area of town cannot be accessed by vehicles is baffling when it is just a few seconds’ walk away from not one, but two, on-street car parks owned and operated by Sefton Council itself. They are in addition to a large multi-storey car park above the Sports Direct development which faces Wesley Street. I wonder sometimes just how well our council officials really know Southport.
“Drivers used to be able to drive down Wesley Street too until Sefton Council pedestrianised Chapel Street nearby and restricted access to Wesley Street. That should encourage more support for this area from the council, not less.
“There are already signs in place on our roads, quite rightly, for locations including Ocean Plaza, so denying something similar signage for Wesley Street will come as a real blow for the hard-working business owners we have down there.
“I have asked Sefton Council to urgently reconsider this decision and to instead show some much-needed support for our local businesses.”