An Taisce says unused signage poles 'cluttering' city


MORE THAN 100 bare and redundant poles are littering the streets of Dublin city centre, according to a new audit carried out by national heritage organisation An Taisce.

An Taisce has asked Dublin City Council to remove those poles that no longer carry signage and are leading to a “degradation of the visual character and attractiveness of the city”.

The organisation originally wrote to the council last June in relation to a handful of poles in the prime tourist areas of the city, which it recommended be removed before the start of the holiday peak in July and August.

However, when these poles had not been removed by the beginning of last month, An Taisce’s planning spokesman Kevin Duff decided to make a more comprehensive inventory of unnecessary poles in the city.

Mr Duff has photographed more than 100 bare poles in the city, several of which are outside historic buildings and Georgian streetscapes including Dublin Castle, the Four Courts, the Custom House, and St Stephen’s Green. Many of the poles have been void of any signage for several years, Mr Duff said.

“There is no excuse for allowing this mess to build up over the years. When poles are no longer needed they should be removed, instead new poles seem to be constantly added.”

The council has recently erected a number of tall poles around the city to accommodate its new “wayfinding” tourist signpost system. While the signs which have thus far been added were attractive, Mr Duff said, they should not have been erected until the old poles were removed.

“Superimposing these signposts on the old redundant poles is just adding to the mess and excess of signs and clutter in the streets.”

In addition to the unsightliness of poles, they created an “obstacle course” for the visually and physically impaired.

The proliferation of redundant poles was likely to have been a factor in the city missing out on Unesco World Heritage Site designation for Georgian Dublin, Mr Duff said. It was also likely to scupper Dublin’s bid to be designated as World Capital of Design for 2014, he said.

“Talk about putting the cart before the horse. If we can’t get something as basic as signage right how do we think we’ll get design capital designation.”

A spokeswoman for the council said it was dealing with the original poles it received notification of last June, and would investigate the others brought to its intention earlier this week.