New welcome signs for Bognor Regis

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New signs loudly and proudly proclaim the royal heritage of Bognor Regis.

The welcoming notices are probably the first to draw such attention to the granting of the royal suffix in 1929.

Four of the signs have been installed by Bognor Regis Town Council. A fifth is likely to go in soon.

Their locations are Chichester Road, Upper Bognor Road, Shripney Road and Aldwick Road. It is hoped to add the railway station to the list. Each sign measures 183cm by 183cm and cost about £330.

Their arrival signals the end of a long battle by town councillors. Sandra Daniells, the town’s mayor, said the effort was worthwhile. “The new signs shout quality and style,” she said. “They are far more attractive and complement all of the other work the council undertakes to make the town tidier and smarter for both residents and visitors.

“The old signs were functional but did not give any feeling of civic pride which we are very keen to encourage.”

The saga of the distinctive signs dates back to 2007. Town councillors decided more attractive and stylish welcomes were required.

They wanted the design to include a mention of the granting of the Regis title. It was hoped the installation would form part of the celebration of the 80th anniversary of the accolade.

However, the chosen designs did not comply with Department for Transport rules for font, layout and wording. West Sussex County Council highways officers advised this made them unacceptable.

They suggested an alternative which excluded the reference to the historic moment in 2009 and also reduced the town’s ‘To Excel’ crest.

The councillors were determined to fight on, boosted by the knowledge other towns had distinctive signs, and had lengthy negotiations with the highways officers.

These ended in the compromise of the current designs but only if they received planning permission as advertisements.

Arun District Council gave the necessary approval to cause the town council to return to the highways officers to seek a licence to place the ‘advertisements’ on highway land.

Town Force co-ordinator Erika Adams, who managed the project for the council, said: “We had to do an enormous amount of work to achieve our goal.

“But, hopefully, everyone will agree the new signs were well worth the wait.”