PLANS to put up four signs advertising supermarket giant Lidl on a busy Westhoughton roundabout have been slammed as a health and safety hazard by town councillors.
The Chequerbent roundabout on the A6 has a poor accident record, according to the Highways Agency, yet Bolton Council chiefs are pressing ahead with plans to put up more signs.
Cllr Karen Lawrinson told a meeting of Westhoughton Town Council that Government guidelines were for councils to minimise road signage where possible so drivers that are not distracted.
Tory Cllr Phil Ashcroft argued that the town council must be consistent in voicing opposition to such proposals, even if they were from Bolton Council and “almost certain to be approved”.
Cllr Christopher Peacock, borough councillor for Westhoughton South, disagreed and said he did not think the signs posed a risk.
But he was outvoted as members agreed to recommend refusal for the application on the grounds of health and safety.
Cllr Lawrinson, said: “I don’t think there should be anything other than traffic signs on the roundabout as it is unnecessary clutter.
“The council is putting the application in itself, so I can’t see it being rejected. but I think it should be.”
Cllr Gill Williams, for Daisy Hill, said: “There is a gentlemen in Daisy Hill who recently opened a little shop and he struggled and struggled to get a road sign put up anywhere.
“It seems as though there is one law for firms like Lidl and another for the rest.”
Cllr Ashcroft said: “If the policy of this council is to decline such applications we should be consistent and not just roll over just because it will be approved when it goes to planning.”
The signs are 1.2 metres wide and 60cm tall and will carry the message ‘Lidl — where quality is cheaper’ alongside the retailer’s logo.
Bolton Council’s events and marketing team submitted the plans for the metal, pole-mounted signs on March 21.
Cllr Peacock said: “I have got no problem with this at all. I’m not aware of a single accident being caused by these road signs.”
A decision on the application will now be made by planning officers.