FADED street signs in Helensburgh could be replaced by the end of the year after a councillor for the town centre area complained that several were “unreadable”.

Graham Hardie, one of four elected members for the Helensburgh Central ward, told Argyll and Bute Council’s Helensburgh and Lomond area committee that numerous street signs were no longer legible.

And that prompted the committee’s chair to point out that readable signs were vital for the emergency services.

Councillor Ellen Morton urged Argyll and Bute Council’s roads department to look into the possibility of replacing the signs.

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The debate took place at the area committee’s meeting on Thursday, September 19.

Councillor Hardie told the area committee last Thursday: “I have noticed that When I deliver focus papers around Helensburgh, there are street signs which on five or six occasions you cannot even read. We came across roads where it is just not legible.”

Councillor Morton then added: “That is a big issue. A long time ago, street signs were missing and what we found, after a lot of to-ing and fro-ing, was that the budget before had all been under roads, which covered amenity services.

“No money had been allocated to street signs, so a budget line was put in for signs at streets like Kildonan Drive.

“What Campbell Divertie [the council’s Helensburgh and Lomond technical officer, who retired in June] did was wait until he had a significant number of missing signs, and if councillors identified an area that was short, action would be taken.

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“I noticed a number of signs missing up there, and Campbell would travel round and draw up a substantive list.

“One of the eight councils in the Northern Roads Collaboration [a strategic approach to road improvements undertaken by eight rural Scottish councils] has sign-making capacity, and is looking into whether it can help the other seven.”

Hugh O’Neill, network and standards manager with the council’s roads department, said: “Helensburgh Community Council came through myself, and I said it was not a priority for street signs as much as it was for road signs.

“However, if it gets to the end of the year and we are not doing much, I would say to our department that we try to get them done, if we have a fair number rather than one or two.”

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Councillor Morton added: “It is important not to lose sight of this for things like ambulances and the fire service. It is really important that people know what street they are in.

“Keep it under review and draw it up as an action for the new member of staff.”