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Signs by Canterbury's Westgate Towers slammed as 'hideous'

Road signs erected beside one of Kent’s most-photographed landmarks have been branded an “eyesore”.

Bright red and yellow notices warning of a temporary one-way system in Pound Lane have been put up by the Westgate Towers in Canterbury while luxury student accommodation is built - and are due to remain until next July.

But tourists say they are a blot on the historic landscape and are hampering the view of Westgate Towers, which acts as a gateway to the city.

Twitter user Andy Hart described the signs as an “eyesore”, writing: “Canterbury, what on earth is going on with this hideousness!

“Sort your signage out to something more in keeping with your heritage.”

John Hippisley, a writer and tour guide at Canterbury Tours, said: "I think it makes the city look really tacky.

"To have it right in the middle, where people walk down from the station and see these ghastly signs in these naff old buckets.

Writer and tour guide John Hippisley describes the signs as 'horrible'
Writer and tour guide John Hippisley describes the signs as 'horrible'

"They're bloody horrible."

He posited that something could be done to make the signs less garish, joking: "They're really in-keeping with just how Geoffrey Chaucer would have wanted them."

Meanwhile, another Twitter user acknowledged signage is dictated by road traffic regulations, but added: “I agree they do distract from the building and general ambience.”

Built in 1379, the 60ft Westgate Towers are the largest surviving city gate in England.

The Grade I-listed monument is the last survivor of Canterbury’s seven medieval gates and is one of the city’s most distinctive landmarks, with a one-way road passing beneath it.

The 'hideous' signs outside Westgate Towers in Canterbury
The 'hideous' signs outside Westgate Towers in Canterbury

Responding to concerns, Kent County Council said the signs are in the only feasible place they could have been erected in accordance with national regulations.

Meanwhile, Mick Hughes, contract manager at S.T. Abbott, confirmed the signs will be in place until 2023, while the Pound Lane development is carried out.

“It’s the only location [the signs] can go,” he said, adding the position of signs is “all about clearness, and notifying drivers”, rather than aesthetics.

S.T. Abbott is building 143 student flats at the Westgate One development - on a site sits behind the St Peter’s Street premises that for 117 years was home to Barretts car dealership.

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