Scarborough tiddlywink grumble

Whitby in Bloom logo
Whitby in Bloom logo

HIGHWAY regulations may mean Whitby could have no signs declaring the town’s success in this year’s Britain in Bloom contest.

A proposal has been made by Whitby in Bloom to install signs on the major approaches into Whitby which highlight the town’s Britain in Bloom gold award, but Department for Transport rules mean tight restrictions are in place for what signs can be placed beside highways.

Mayor John Freeman said: “If Scarborough won a tiddlywink competition, they would have a sign up.

“There’s no precedent for us not having a sign.”

A possible solution is the replacement of existing “Welcome to Whitby” signs with ones that incorporate a mention of the award.

Another idea is for the signs to be placed on land beside the roads, which would require the landowners’ consent and planning permission.

Nick West, Whitby Highways’ area manager, said: “We want to work with the Whitby in Bloom group and we will do what we can.

“We can adapt the Welcome to Whitby signs to include information about the Britain in Bloom award, but that would have to be paid for by the town council or Whitby in Bloom.

“It would be great to get some signage up, but if they want to put a dedicated sign about Britain in Bloom up then that would have to go on private land, because we can’t have that on a highway.”

A draft set of signs has been designed by Whitby in Bloom member Roger Burnett, who is also SBC’s parks and countryside manager, but no cost estimates have yet been calculated.

If the permission of landowners was obtained, planning permission for the signs would then have to be applied for, which takes up to eight weeks and carries a £100 fee, as well as no guarantee of approval.

It has also been suggested Whitby train station be contacted for permission to display Britain in Bloom winner signs.

A further meeting to discuss this matter was held on Wednesday evening.