1st November 2010
Council calls for public to notify it of redundant signposts
New w-mail address allows citizens to make on-line submissions on poles
Councillor Barry Ward has welcomed the new e-mail address that has been set up by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to allow members of the public to contact the Council directly to notify it of redundant poles and signposts.
“Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council spends hundreds of thousands of euro erecting various kinds of signpost and pole throughout the county, many of which are totally unnecessary. Poles and signposts that are not necessary are a hazard to parents with prams, wheelchair users, and the visually or mobility impaired, as well as being expensive and unsightly.
“I raised this issue in the Council last March, when councillors unanimously supported my idea. It was agreed that two actions would be taken:
1. that an e-mail would be set up to allow anyone to tell the Council where there is a pointless pole, and
2. that an audit would be carried out over time so that officials know what poles already exist before they order more to be put up.
“I am delighted to see that the new e-mail address is now up and running (email@example.com) and I would encourage people all over Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown to let the Council know where these poles can be taken down, and where savings can therefore be made by using existing signposts for new signs.
“The Council’s Transportation Department has also informed me that the audit of signposts has begun and I am confident that it will be an important tool for achieving savings on an on-going basis.”
Note for Editors
The new e-mail address that people can contact is firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Council passed a motion unanimously on the 8th of March 2010:
Reduction of Number of Poles in the County
It was proposed by Councillor B. Ward and seconded by Councillor J. Bailey:
“That Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council will consider reducing the number of poles in the county and, where such poles are deemed necessary; make every effort to make the maximum use of remaining poles, including public lighting poles, for the erection of signage and other notices; conduct a comprehensive audit of all poles throughout the county, to include telegraph poles, electricity poles and all poles not owned by the Council, and make the results of such an audit available to members of the Council.”
The following report of the Manager, copy of which had been circulated to the Members, was
“There are approximately 10,000 public lighting columns in the County and a further 12,000 public lighting lanterns on ESB Networks poles. The trend is towards increasing the number of poles in older areas in response to public demand for a better standard of lighting. New public lighting is designed to Irish Standard EN13201:2003 which dictates the height and spacing of lanterns in new or redeveloped areas.
Licensed Undertakers in the electricity and telecommunications sectors have statutory powers to erect poles along public roads. They must consult with the Local Authority and it may apply conditions consistent with the need to carry out its functions under the Roads and Road Traffic Acts. The County Council cannot prohibit the erection of a service or limit the number of poles except in new developments where it is a normal condition of Planning that such services be underground.
The erection of small fingerpost signs on public lighting poles is accepted but undesirable. The signs move slightly in the wind and their fixings abrade the galvanising on the hexagonal pole causing rust spots thus shortening the life of the pole.
The unit cost for the procurement and erection of a public lighting pole is €1,500 plus VAT. This does not include the cost of laying the necessary ducting to serve the pole which varies according to the surface to be excavated, being cheapest in grass but costing €100 per linear metre in concrete.
The Public Lighting Section is at present constructing a GIS database that can provide information on the number and location of lighting poles. It is likely that ESB Networks and Eircom have similar databases for the management of their infrastructure. It should be possible for the County Council to combine this information to give the total number of poles.
It is the policy of the DLRCC Transportation Department to minimise as much as practicable the amount of poles used throughout the County and in that regard we are committed to erecting Statutory signage, directional signage and other warning signs in accordance with the Traffic Signs Manual. Our policy on non directional (information) signage was brought to a recent SPC Meeting at which it was noted. DLRCC also has a Policy and Guidelines on the erection of event signage.
Traffic Section is currently carrying out a full Countywide audit of unauthorised signage and to date has removed some of these signs and will continue to do so.
Poles and signs are erected in accordance with best practice to avoid causing obstructions to the visually impaired or disabled or interfering with sightlines and in accordance with the Traffic Signs manual.”
A discussion took place, during which Mr. T. McHugh, Director of Transportation responded to Members queries. The motion was AGREED and it was also AGREED to set up an e-mail address to enable the reporting of specific locations and that an audit of existing signposts would be carried out.