Agenda item

Agenda item


To consider a report by Mike Jones, Traffic, Parking and Road Safety Manager (copy enclosed) on the draft Tourism Signage Strategy - including potential funding sources and the anticipated timescale for the Strategy’s delivery.


The Traffic, Parking and Road Safety Manager informed the Committee, unfortunately that the Lead Member could not attend to present the report as Officers had not provided adequate time for the Member to make arrangements to attend.


Members were guided to the report (previously circulated) which provided an update on the Draft Tourism Signage Plan previously referred to as the Tourism Signage Strategy. It was an action within the Council’s Tourism Strategy that had been previously presented to Scrutiny in March 2020.


The purpose of the paper was to provide members with an update on projects completed to date, including the Vale of Clwyd brown signage scheme. It also proposed a streamline list of brown sign projects which included:

·                 the A55 key tourist signs listing local attractions,

·                 a replacement of the existing Rhyl sign on the westbound carriageway in advance of junction 27,

·                 a new sign for Rhyl placed on the eastbound carriage at junction 23a and

·                 brown signage for Prestatyn on the eastbound carriageway of the A55 which would mirror the signage currently in place on the westbound.


Members heard that the strategy intended to develop brown signage for Llangollen and review the existing signage on the approaches to the area, along with a review of the existing trunk road signage in Ruthin and Corwen.


The Chair thanked the Officer for his detailed presentation of the report. He raised concern that elements of the report seemed to be blank. During the discussion the following points were debated in greater detail:    

·       Officers stressed that the comment in relation to satellite navigation and the use of devices was acknowledging the increased use of devices by individuals to navigate to areas of interest. Members stressed that not all individuals use technology and often rely on brown signage to navigate an area.

·       Trunk roads were managed by Welsh Government. They hold a policy in relation to brown signage, which states any tourist attraction signed from trunk roads could only be signposted from the nearest trunk road. In the case of Ruthin, the closest trunk road was the A494. Thus brown signage relating to Ruthin attractions could not be placed along the A55. A separate condition stated you could only signpost an attraction within a 10-mile radius of a trunk road.

·       A previous Task and Finish Group had been established to review the concept of the original signage strategy which looked at tourism signage trails to complement the North Wales Way. A number of factors had resulted in some projects not progressing as quick as hoped for.

·       Trails had not been included in the revised strategy. Members heard that work done on trails previously had increased awareness of trails in the area. Leaflets promoting areas of interest through the North Wales Way and Discover Denbighshire by Trails were published. Members were reminded a vast amount of information was available online for residents to access.

·       Renewing the Rhyl signage would enable officers to include some of the new visitor attractions along the coast.

·       A higher presence on social media to promote attractions would coincide with the use of brown signs.

·       A review of the gaps in the resources was being undertaken. Recruitment was a challenge. Officers were discussing the team pressures and the resources needed in the service area.

·       The signage proposed on both the East and West signage along the A55 was intended to encourage tourists travelling in both directions to the area.

·       The well-being assessment report would be developed further to include information that had been omitted.

·       Officers stated that signs were made of composite materials but were open to the use of other forms of materials.

·       There was a lot of merit to the suggestion of officer and member walks around towns and areas. It would allow members to highlight areas of need or concern to officers. Officers agreed to discuss outside the meeting if walk around could be resourced.

·       Initial work commenced on the Llangollen review 12 months ago, due to capacity issues it had not developed. It was hoped as part of the revised strategy that work could recommence. An assurance that work with the Local Members was provided.

·       Members suggested that an update be presented to each Member Area Group on the revised strategy and the implications it would have in each area.

·       Funding for brown signs was traditionally sought on an ad hoc approach from the tourism operator to the highways authority. Discussions with the trunk road agency would also take place if the request was received for trunk road signage. Criteria would have to be met to be granted permission for a brown sign. Cost estimates would be generated and presented to the tourism operator to determine if they wished to proceed.     

·       Feedback from businesses regarding brown signage was received from a number of different sources and forums held regularly. It was felt that brown signage was one element of tourism in the area along with technology, social media and communication with local residents.

·       Welsh Government had a nationwide engagement plan to inform people of the changes to Welsh Law with regards to the speed limits.

·       Members highlighted the importance of brown signage within the authority.   

·       Detailed within the papers was information regarding the installation of the new brown signage along the A55. As an authority Denbighshire were supported of brown signs. The proposal was for additional brown signs not the removal of existing signs.

·       The C360 process was used for initial queries for officers to contact residents or members to begin a dialogue.

·       A Ministerial Statement released 30th March confirmed that Welsh Government intended to bring forward draft legislation in relation to a visitor levy.

The Chair thanked officers and committee members for the detailed discussion and noted additional recommendations to add to those detailed in the report.


RESOLVED  - subject to the above observations  

I.                 to confirm that, as part of its consideration, it had read, understood and taken account of the Well-being Impact Assessment and requested that as the Tourism Signage Plan progressed and evolved the Well-being Impact Assessment be regularly reviewed and updated;

II.               requested that a progress report on the development and implementation of the Tourism Signage Plan for Denbighshire be presented to the Committee in six months’ time.  The report to include a detailed action plan for its implementation and delivery, the estimated costs associated with its delivery, details of proposed funding streams to support its delivery, along with a revised Well-being Impact Assessment and details of information available on the Council’s website on how local businesses could access and capitalise on tourism signage opportunities;

III.             requested that with a view to exploring how all areas, both urban and rural, could maximise the economic impact and benefits to be realised from the Tourism Signage Plan that the Tourism Signage Plan for Denbighshire be presented to each Member Area Group (MAG) for discussion;

IV.            requested that, when available, information be presented to elected members on the proposed new Visitor Levy, including the potential economic advantages and disadvantages of introducing a visitor levy in Denbighshire on the county’s economy and its communities; and

V.              requested that enquiries be made with satellite navigation developers on how tourist attractions in Denbighshire could be included on future navigational system updates or upgrades.

Supporting documents: