HC Deb 21 April 1986 vol 96 cc3-4
2. Mr. Greg Knight

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he intends to introduce more widely the new white and brown tourist attraction signs following the experiments in Kent and Nottinghamshire; and if he will make a statement.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Mr. Peter Bottomley)

The experiments were very successful. The system is to be introduced throughout England. Information is now being sent to local authorities and others. Signs to attractions with over 150,000 visitors a year will be allowed on motorways. On other roads there can be lower thresholds. The new scheme will benefit both tourists and attractions.


Representing as I do an area of great tourist potential I welcome that reply and my hon. Friend's Department should be congratulated on the speed with which it has dealt with the matter. What implication does his decision have for public expenditure? Who will pay for the new signs?

Mr. Bottomley

I am grateful to my hon. Friend. The experiment was well carried out by the two counties and we are grateful to them. The Department has got on with this and that is generally welcomed. In general, the attraction operators will be paying for the signs. Local authorities can contribute, but we do not expect to see an increase in public expenditure.


The signs are attractive, but where is the Department of Transport's priority? We can travel up the M1 and at junctions 27 and 28 there is no sign at all for Sutton in Ashfield and Kirkby in Ashfield in my constituency? Will the hon. Gentleman consider that matter.


I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his welcome and when I next travel up the motorway I shall see whether I can advertise his constituency and the robust way in which he represents it in the House.

Mr. Key

I welcome my hon. Friend's decision, but will he not go overboard on the standardisation of signs, which might be provided perfectly adequately by local businesses? Will he also note that people want to know about not just tourist sites but village shops in rural areas such as mine?

Mr. Bottomley

I am not sure that we want to advertise every village shop from motorways, but the important point is that we are allowing signs to be put up and paid for by attraction operators, so that both in boosting tourism and in deregulation we are to be congratulated.