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MP gets signs decision overturned by Minister

Monday 6th February 2012 (Andrew Griffiths)
MP gets signs decision overturned by Minister

TOURIST-friendly road signs will be installed around Burton to direct traffic to the National Football Centre.

An application to have the glossy metal signs was initially turned down but they will now be put up after intervention from a Government minister.

The multi-million pound National Football Centre at Rangemore was told it was not eligible for the signature brown tourism signs because it would fall short of the 100,000-visitors-a-year mark.

But this decision was overturned after Burton’s MP Andrew Griffiths appealed to Mike Penning, junior transport minister.

The Highways Agency has now announced it will build road signs directing cars to the 330-acre £100 million St George’s Park site.

Mr Griffiths said: “The brown signs were refused because the centre would not get 100,000 visitors a year. But without the signs there would be a huge number of people visiting the centre who would not have a clue where it was.

“I asked for a meeting with Mike Penning who accepted my arguments and granted the installation of the signs.”

He continued: “I argued this would be the nation’s foremost sports training centre and it would be ridiculous to expect people to find their way with no road signs.”

Mr Griffiths claimed signs would also reduce congestion caused by cars travelling to the football centre and the two adjoining hotels.

The facility will serve as a training site for the English national team and is due to open this summer.

The site contains sports training facilities, conference rooms and a replica of the Wembley Stadium pitch.

David Leese, East Staffordshire borough councillor for Winshill, who also campaigned for the signs, said: “We want this football centre to be a success story.

“When we first asked for these signs, all we got back was a bureaucratic brush-off.

“Now a bit of common sense has come into this debate and the signs are on the way.” It is not known when the signs will be installed.

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