Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Entertainment
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Sport 
Entertainment 
New Music Releases 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 
Wednesday, 19 January, 2000, 12:33 GMT
Liverpool's Beatles signs blocked

The Beatles are "too distracting" for motorway signs


Road signs promoting Liverpool as the birthplace of The Beatles have been rejected by the Department of the Environment because they could cause an accident.

Liverpool City Council had hoped to put up signs reading "Liverpool - Birthplace of the Beatles" on the busy M6 motorway and other routes into the city.

However, its bid to attract visitors has been turned down by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, which ruled that the signs were too detailed and would distract drivers.

Tourist attraction: Sir Paul McCartney's former home


The city's tourism spokesman Frank Doran now plans to write a letter of protest to Culture Secretary Chris Smith asking him to reassess the "ridiculous rules".

"We should be allowed to present our strongest selling point," said Doran.

"This makes no sense at all and I think some of these people making decisions in London need dragging into the 21st century," he added.

But a government spokesman said: "Drivers have just four seconds to assimilate information (from signs). There is a limit on the number of words allowed. It comes down to safety grounds - it was too distracting."

Liverpool City Council leader Mike Storey questioned why the town of Stratford upon-Avon, once home to William Shakespeare, was allowed to use signs describing itself as "Shakespeare's Stratford".

He added: "The Beatles are as important to Liverpool as Shakespeare is to Warwickshire and to not allow the signs is bureaucracy gone mad."

Traffic regulations

The Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions has instead approved a series of signs promoting the city's "historic waterfront", "museums and galleries" and "football stadia".

These white and brown signs comply with the Road Traffic Users Act which allows information about three tourist attractions alongside the name of the town and city.

In addition the act states that signs must help motorists find their destination "safely and efficiently" and should not be used as "marketing tools".

Beatles attractions in the city include Sir Paul McCartney's childhood home, which was opened to the public by the National Trust in 1998.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE

See also:
26 May 99 |  Entertainment
Blue plaque to honour Lennon
29 Dec 98 |  Entertainment
A real Hard Day's Night
21 Jul 98 |  Entertainment
Magical history tour
18 Dec 99 |  Entertainment
Beatles anthem is millennium song
14 Dec 99 |  Entertainment
Internet audience prepares for Beatle's return

Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
Links to other Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories