matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (grrr-argh)
Mat Bowles ([personal profile] matgb) wrote2008-11-01 08:45 pm

Dear Sheffield: There are these things called roadsigns, they have a purpose

Today, I went to Sheffield to attend a conference, knowing that I'd get to interview Nick Clegg while there. Unfortunately, despite arriving at the outskirts of Sheffield approximately an hour before I needed to, I was half an hour late for the actual meeting. Why?

Because Sheffield doesn't know what signposts are for

Here's an example. The conference is at Sheffield Cathedral. Lovely venue BTW, just about the right size, theoretically easy to find, etc. So while driving the outskirts of the city, I get to the ring road and there's a sign that says "for the Cathedral and [other stuff], follow Cathedral District". Simple enough. So I do, and the Cathedral District is well signposted along the ring road. Except for one small omission. No exit sign. At least not one that I saw. Guys, if you're putting up signs aimed at visitors, pointing out important attractions and destinations, it's useful if you make sure they actually tell visitors where they need to turn off.

Another example. One of the exits from the ring road is closed, so I can't follow the route in. There are nice diversion signs up. So I follow them. Unfortunately, at the next exit to the roundabout, the diversion sign is almost impossible to see from the lane you end up in. So this poor, and now late, stressed and frustrated visitor is in the wrong lane (again) and has no clue where to go. Good job I have a reasonable sense of direction and Google Maps installed on the phone.

Sheffield Lib Dems? I know you only took control of the council in May, and I'm told you're aware it's a disgrace, but still, please, for the benefits of your great city, the supposed hub of South Yorkshire, please sort out the directions signs so they actually help visitors. Thanks.

If you need some help, send some fact finders down to Devon. I grew up there, it's only when you leave you realise the lack of the damn things everywhere else. There's no point hoping for an increase in tourism if the tourists just get lost and frustrated...

This rant brought to you by the 'too exhausted to even proofread' section of Mat's Brain. The interview itself will, hopefully, get a write up tomorrow. Because, y'know, dude! I interviewed Nick Clegg. And prompted him to have a dig, on the record, at both Polly Toynbee and Jackie Ashley. Yay!

[identity profile] 2008-11-01 09:08 pm (UTC)(link)
I've just experienced the joy of navigating Dubai by car, so i share you pain.

[identity profile] 2008-11-01 09:16 pm (UTC)(link)
* snuggles poor stressed baby *

[identity profile] 2008-11-01 11:25 pm (UTC)(link)
I share you're pain. Drove to Sheff last Saturday for a night out and it took us ages to get anywhere near where we wanted to be. Maps bear no relation to what's on the ground in that city!

[identity profile] 2008-11-02 02:58 pm (UTC)(link)
Well as a pedestrian, it was fairly easy to find, only glanced at the map once.

Could possibly have used some signs back to the staion, thugh.

[identity profile] 2008-11-02 10:31 am (UTC)(link)
You have pre-empted something I was going to post about (and I may still!). A couple of weeks ago I had to drive through Swindon, to Oxford. There weren't any signs to Oxford, so I followed the sign to the ring road. I got stuck in a jam for ages, so I snuck out of the queue, turned around, and drove back the way I came: to see a sign to Oxford. Only signing one direction? Jeez! I mean, how had can it be?!

[identity profile] 2008-11-02 10:32 am (UTC)(link)
And whilst I am ranting at town planners, there is a street in Oxford which has "no entry" signs at both ends. You have to know that the only way in is the side-road in the middle. But they don't tell you that, do they! Grrrrr...

[identity profile] 2008-11-02 10:34 am (UTC)(link)
I look forward to reading your interview - but aside from what he said, how did he come across?

[identity profile] 2008-11-02 12:23 pm (UTC)(link)
I don't know if you listened to Broadcasting House this morning, but they had an interesting bit about how Obama's campaign had really utilised the internet well - YouTube, blogging, and most importantly, maintaining a database of email addresses to get their vote out.

[identity profile] 2008-11-02 06:15 pm (UTC)(link)
I interviewed Nick Clegg. And prompted him to have a dig, on the record, at both Polly Toynbee and Jackie Ashley

Yay indeed - something to look forward to once I'm back up, running and online again!
ext_27893: (Default)

[identity profile] 2008-11-03 11:40 am (UTC)(link)
Glad you found where you needed to be in the end. I sympathise re Sheffield, anyway. SG and I went to an Eric Clapton concert at the Hallam Arena, which is on the outskirts a couple of years ago, and we almost got lost a couple of times just trying to find that!

[identity profile] 2008-11-05 06:49 pm (UTC)(link)
not to be all anoying, and giving you this info now, but with most things in sheffield city centre its easiest to park at the Meadowhall Shopping Center (where they have free parking) and get the supertram in from the interchange