Mystery road notice is a sign of the old times

A ROGUE traffic sign last used in the 1970s has left transport chiefs baffled after it mysteriously appeared in a city street.

The nostalgic road notice was spotted by the Evening News on Wardlaw Terrace in Gorgie this week. It features a red warning circle above the words “Play Street 4pm to sunset except for access”.

But council chiefs said they knew nothing about it – revealing that the play street order had been rescinded in 1973 – and swiftly moved to hack the post down.

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A puzzled spokeswoman for City Chambers said there was no record of the sign being ordered and only the council were authorised to install road signs.

“At the moment it’s a mystery who put it there,” she said. “We do not have a record for this sign and we didn’t put it up.

“The transportation department is writing to the manufacturers to find out when it was made and who ordered it.”

When the News contacted the signmakers, Glasgow firm D Gibson, a worker said he was “75 per cent sure” it had been ordered by Edinburgh Council – only adding to the sense of confusion.

Play Street Traffic Regulation Orders were introduced to Edinburgh in the 1930s but scrapped 40 years ago after Controlled Parking Zones were introduced. A similar scheme piloting in Bristol allows a group of residents to close a road on a regular basis to “facilitate supervised children’s play without the potential danger and inconvenience of through-traffic”.

John McMillan, 32, a Gorgie resident who lives nearby, said: “I saw the sign there a day or so ago and couldn’t work out what it meant.

“The 4pm to sunset element seemed a strange instruction for a road sign because dusk can change depending on the season – and I’ve never heard of a play street. It’s good thing the council have taken it down now, but they need to sort it out and find out who put it up. There could be a serial road sign maker on the loose.”

Lesley Hinds, Labour’s transport spokeswoman, said: “It’s a strange one but maybe someone has become frustrated with the transport department and taken matters into their own hands by putting up this sign.”

A spokesperson for the City of Edinburgh Council said: “The council has no record of ordering this sign and we will be contacting the manufacturer to establish who commissioned it. In the meantime the sign has now been removed by officers. We would encourage anyone who spots a defunct sign to contact the council on 0800 232323.”