One of the traffic islands in Burntwood. Picture: Google Streetview
One of the traffic islands in Burntwood. Picture: Google Streetview

Traffic islands in Burntwood painted with a St George’s Cross by locals to mark England’s football achievements in the Euros may have been saved from being shown the red card by highways chiefs.

Sites at Chase Road and Chasetown High Street were among those to get a DIY makeover from residents during the summer.

Burntwood Town Council had been contacted by a highways officer from Staffordshire County Council on plans to repaint the islands after complaints about the “graffiti” that had been added by local Three Lions fans.

Cllr Sue Woodward, leader of the town council, said the move would be an own goal, branding it a “waste of money” when there were other more pressing issues to be dealt with on local roads.

But Cllr David Williams, cabinet member for highways and transport at Staffordshire County Council, has now told Lichfield Live there are no plans to repaint the islands – but he did ask fans to refrain from getting their brushes and rollers out on them again in future.

“We all like to see England do well in the football, but we’d prefer people showed their support by hanging flags from their windows and not put themselves at risk decorating public areas.

“Cleaning has already taken place to remove the majority of the markings which are now mostly faded.

“The council has been investigating options for repainting the islands but there are no further plans to do so at this stage.

“We do need to target our resources where they are needed most and carrying out work here would mean that other priorities would have to be pushed back or rescheduled.”

Cllr David Williams, Staffordshire County Council

Cllr Mike Wilcox, county councillor for Burntwood South, said he had initially asked highways officers about the potential to use his funding pot for the works after being approached by Hammerwich Parish Council about the issue.

He said:

“I understand from the town councillors that they think this is not required and that there are more pressing highways concerns that should be addressed.

“So in listening to the town councillors I am happy not to proceed with this work and will liaise with the councillors to address the more pressing highway concerns that they are aware of, and use my budget where I am able to get these remedied.”

Cllr Mike Wilcox, Staffordshire County Council

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  1. In principal, I’m not a fan of graffiti, but I must admit there are rare times when I find it amusing and oddly gratifying – and that applied in this case. It certainly couldn’t have presented much of a risk or danger to traffic – except as a possible brief distraction, but no more than, say a beautifully presented well landscaped roundabout or verge. It would certainly have made the roundabout and junction more noticeable on approach.

    So, in this case I would be very interested in learning of the basis for the complaints and their source, and why any taxpayers’ money at all, or time was spent in ‘cleaning’ some of it, or for ‘investigating options’.

  2. In principle, I’m not a fan of graffiti either. In the interests of free speech let’s have a roundabout painted blue with yellow stars.
    No taxpayers’ money need be spent on ‘cleaning’ it.

  3. I would be interested in the areas that the councillor thinks money could be better spent and hope it includes traffic calming on some of our much needed roads that continually get used as racetracks.

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