Improved Quay Signage Passed By Planners

St Mary's Quay

Plans to improve the signage at St Mary’s Quay didn’t impress all Councillors last night.

The need for more visitor information was highlighted in the Blue Sail tourism report and the Duchy feel that, with 45,000 Scillonian passengers and 35 cruise ships expected this year, signs showing how to get to the Tourist Information Centre and where to catch Off-Island boats would improve the tourists’ experience.

The Duchy want to paint footsteps leading people up the quay and install coloured and numbered ‘flags’ that would help distinguish each set of steps that passengers would need to go down to reach their off-island boat.

But the plan to raise these flags on 2.5 metre galvanised steel poles during the summer didn’t go down well.

Councillor Fred Ticehurst wasn’t a fan of the flags or a proposal to add a double-sided clock to the front of the harbour office.

Fred said he welcomed improvements to signage but felt that Scilly isn’t a place where you should be concerned about time. He said “time has an entirely different dimension on the Isles of Scilly to what it has on the mainland.”

And Councillor Chris Savill felt the flags were targeting the wrong end of the quay. She said the visual impact of the Boatmen’s boards at the Mermaid end of the quay was a bigger problem.

Councillor Dudley Mumford felt there were too many signs and guard rails and that ruined the appearance of the quay.

He said there are so many that people tend to ignore them. He also felt the quay had become ‘disfigured’ by all the railings, adding it was, “becoming a mess.”

French visitors would be acknowledged with signs indicating fresh water taps in both English and French.

But the potential for more multi-lingual signs worried Committee Chair, Amanda Martin.

She said there is bilingual signage at some places already and, with the arrival of more cruise ships, she asked how long would it be before we needed signs in other languages.

Amanda said should be restricted to “what is necessary and useful.”

Craig Dryden agreed with the applicant that the current signage on the quay is confusing, cluttered and poorly designed and harms the appearance of the listed building.

Under the plan, many of the signs situated on and around the quay would be removed and replaced with colour-coordinated signs.

The proposal also includes painting a ‘Welcome to St. Mary’s’ sign on the gable end of the harbour building for passengers disembarking from the Scillonian.

Members backed all of the enhancements except the flags and Chris Savill suggested that the Duchy might want to tidy up the signs between the old and new quays.


6 Responses to Improved Quay Signage Passed By Planners

  1. al April 22, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Modern transport thinking is turning to ‘shared space’ not segregating traffic from pedestrians. After successful schemes in Europe we now have half a mile of street in London where clutter, signs, lines, together with defined pavements and kerbs have all been removed deliberately mixing traffic with pedestrians. Perhaps against intuition, it has been found that drivers go slower and pay more attention to both pedstrians AND other vehicles increasing safety all round (more details at TfL)You might want to think about this now before deciding it would be a good idea in 2030! (Save a lot of money too)

  2. Lindsay April 22, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    I think the rails/bollards are a good idea. Sadly there have been several accidents over the years, including vehicles going off the quay.(with one fatality.) People seem to forget the quay, first and foremost is ‘a working environment’. what I think could be improved is the uneven cobbled surface inside the bollards on the main quay, as people with pushchairs, and walking difficulties walk on the main (smoother) section defeating the object of the bollards.

  3. John April 21, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    How many accidents have occured on the quay over the last few decades? There must be a few, so how many would have been avoided by having warning signs and bollards? Not many I suspect. If it’s not broken, don’t try to fix it!
    Information is one thing and George is right – but if you need to be told to watch out for traffic, maybe the world would be a safer place if you didn’t breed.

  4. linda April 20, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    Well put George

  5. Sue Mason April 20, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    I think that one of the main reasons that people don’t walk on the designated side of the quay is that the pointing leaves the granite sets standing proud, thus needing you to look down all the time – or trip – as I have seen many do – it looks beautifully done, but not as easy to walk on as the well worn side ! I’m coming over in June with a lovely new knee so hoping not to trip !

  6. George Kershaw April 20, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    If you go to any quay where boat trips depart from you find chalk boards and signs, people need to be able to have the information they require in the right places, the whole chalk board tied to a pole started years ago and is a part of local history now, also gives the boatmen the simplest way of updating relevant information on a daily basis..
    The idea of the quay appearing messy with the railings all around it has no relevance as the railings are a health and safety requirement and in my opinion are a great idea, you ever tried to hold onto your toddler while excitedly waiting for a boat trip? Railings really are necessary..
    I have been to many quays all across Cornwall and find our signs are all attractive and informative by comparison to other quays and jettys.
    The only signs that need improving are the ones that tell people to stay out of the way of vehicles, don’t think it would help though as people on holiday are so relaxed that they don’t seem to notice that they are stood in the middle of a road 🙂