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Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Orihuela Costa's missing street-name signs.

Dotted around the streets of Orihuela Costa there are numerous two metre tall royal blue poles that have lost their purpose in life: standing alone, forlorn, ignored by passers-by.

Calle Leman

Sometime ago the Orihuela Town Council decided that the time had come when every road should finally have its name on display. The poles began to appear, in some instances in the most seemingly inappropriate, ludicrous, places, adorned with an oblong aluminium plate heralding for all to see the official name of the road in which they stand. Presumably in order to save costs the name plate was made of the thinnest aluminium sheet possible. It was attached to a small part of the circumference of the circular pole by two small screws: not the most secure method of fixing a flat surface to a curved one.

It was not long before the name plates in both our and the adjoining road became misshapen, bent in half, and then completely absent. This was either as a result of the strong winds; which could be seen to be violently shaking the thin plates; or drunken vandals, or both, tearing the plate off the pole; what a surprise! A scenario duplicated in many locations in Orihuela Costa. In two cases that I know of the pole has gone as well.

At the end of June 2012 I sent an email to two separate recipients, with a copy of the photograph at the top of the page attached, in the Town Hall offices requesting a replacement name plate. I wrote: 'Could you please make a request on my behalf for a replacement for the missing street name sign for 'Calle Ontario'. The blue pole is lonely on its own! '.

I received a reply informing me that in order for the Council to action my request I had to travel to the Town Hall to complete an official form, in person. As I was preparing for the start of our two month trip to the United Kingdom, I was not inclined to waste my time, and the expense of petrol for the car, to visit the offices in Orihuela Costa to complete, what I consider, an unnecessary duplicate request of my email. I thought a replacement sign would be of benefit to my neighbours, visitors, the community, delivery companies and helpful to the Council.

Calle Baikal

Several months on and still our blue pole is standing there without a purpose. So I've decided to see if the Orihuela Town Council will react again to a posting on my weblog.

If so, Sr. Alcaldesa, Mr Mayor, I have a question and a suggestion for you. Can the Council replace our missing street name sign? As the Urban Cleaning Services household refuse collection lorries travel throughout the area on a daily basis they would be an excellent source of information about the location of other missing signs and dis-functional poles.

[I wonder if any of the readers of this weblog living in Orihuela Costa know of any more examples and will send the location as a comment.]

By the by.
On the day that the two Council employees came and installed one of the signs for our road, we (my wife and I) were sitting in our lounge drinking our morning coffee when we suddenly heard the sound of drilling directly in front of our house. Opening the front door we could see the workers starting to drill a hole in the path directly in-line with our garden entrance gate. On enquiring we discovered that this was being drilled for the installation of one of the street-name poles. We pointed out to them that to site it there would seem a little inconsiderate as it made entry to our house through the gate a little inconvenient. It was pointed out to us that that was where their instructions indicated the sign must be. We eventually managed to get the 'Jobsworths' to agree to move it, all be it less than one half of a metre northwards further along the pavement; not directly in front of anyone's gateway.


  1. we had 2 installed in Calle Leman. One blue post remains at the bottom of the street but no sign, the other blue post was removed by the Council 12 months,the hole filled in and the signpost has never been replaced.We therefore have no indication as to the location of Calle Leman which is the postal address for 5 communities off Calle Leman. I emailed the Town Hall and was, like you was advised that I had to visit the Town Hall to make an Official Denuncia in Spanish!! That was 6 months ago!! Still no action. Will have to make another visit and try again as emergency services are now having problems finding houses.

  2. May I just say that this is Spain. Should we not be adapting our life to fit in with the local native way of life. Immigrants to UK are encouraged to do just this - to cast out their own unacceptable, anti GB ways of living and conform to ours. Why should it be different here? I accept that we Brits are genetically wired to think that the rest of the world needs to be educated and updated into our superior ways, to live according to our standards and that we find it incredibly hard to stand by and do nothing when the native population decide that they want to carry on living their way – like they have done for thousands of years.
    So should we immigrants try to change this country’s ways and means or should we, when we are back in the UK, allow the immigrants there to impose their culture on us. As a true blue Brit the answer to these points is clearly and quite unequivocally YES to the first and NO to the second. But it does make you wonder…

  3. Why on earth does every sign have to have its own pole??
    Why do they plant speed limit signs or give way signs just a couple of yards in front of, or even behind !!!, hefty street lamp posts which could easily carry the weight ?
    Is it really smart to waste time and fuel to drill holes in the pavement (what's just below the surface? ), supply an aluminium pole--painted of course, cement it in, fix the sign, when almost any conceivable sign could be attached to a nearby lamp-post.
    Or how about one post carrying two or three signs.
    Or how about really thinking if all the signs are needed!!
    Oh yes they have their minimum maximum distance regulations to follow slavishly like jobsworths.
    Scrap the regulations. Replace with common sense. Oh hold on; a bit of a snag there.
    This is not aimed at Spain alone. I've seen the same waste of time, energy and (usually)aluminium and paint all over the world.

    And people bleat on about saving the planet. The planet needs saving from council clowns,and rigid thinking.

  4. The Post newspaper has printed a story based on this article.

  5. The local 'The Leader' newspaper has published my article.


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