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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 April, 2004, 08:30 GMT 09:30 UK
Row over removal of tourism signs
Plymouth Hoe
The council asked for Plymouth Hoe to be prioritised on signs
There is anger over the removal of some signs promoting visitor attractions around Plymouth.

Directions to Saltram House and the Riverside Caravan Park on the A38 have been replaced by signs to the National Marine Aquarium and The Hoe.

The Highways Agency, which owns the signs, says it made the changes at the request of Plymouth City Council.

The council says it is updating its guidelines for putting up signs linked with tourism.

People come to the county, can't find us and then go somewhere else
Ian Gray, Riverside Caravan Park
The removal of the signs has left visitors and staff at both attractions complaining.

Ian Gray at Riverside Caravan Park at Marsh Mills said the resulting loss of visitors and has reduced revenue so much he has had to get rid of two members of staff.

He said: "I'm very peeved. I have to spend a tremendous amount to advertise to let people know where we are.

"People come to the county, can't find us and then go somewhere else.

"They then phone us up to have their deposit returned because they couldn't find us because we have no sign."

At the National Trust's Saltram House in Plympton, which has more than 150,000 people visit each year, staff said they got a lot of visitors complaining about the lack of a sign on the A38.

Attraction limit

The trust said it was looking at the problem in conjunction with Plymouth City Council.

Plymouth City Council says the A38 signs belong to the Highways Agency.

The Highways Agency said the authority asked for "priority to be given to The Hoe, The Barbican and the National Marine Aquarium" and that there was a limit to the number of attractions that can go on the signs.

Plymouth City Council has 321 brown tourism signs in the city for 59 different destinations.

The council said it was in the process of updating its direction signing guidance, including guidelines for putting up brown tourism signs.

Attractions will have to meet the council's criteria, which will take into account factors such as visitor numbers, facilities, accessibility and if the attraction is open all year round.

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