Coventry ring road and A444 big screens branded a 'danger' that will 'cause accidents'

What the ring road screen will look like once installed at Junction 6
-Credit: (Image: Coventry City Council)

Readers disapprove of plans to place big digital screens on two of the busiest roads in Coventry. One hailed the plan as a 'complete waste of money' while another added it would cause 'more accidents'.

Coventry City Council gained permission for the plans on June 4 and said the move would bring extra money to fund services. The signs will go over the A444 on a bridge and at Junction 6 of the ring road on both sides of the tunnel.

The council added the screens are an important way to keep residents informed and updated on issues and events in the city, and will help 'mitigate the financial challenges' by generating profit via commercial advertising.

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A council officer said that the 12x3 metre screens are "large" but would look "well-proportioned" where they are placed. The report also referenced a road safety audit, reviewed the plans, and described problems needing action to improve safety and reduce collisions.

The report found that drivers may be distracted by the screen which could affect their vision, which may result in more crashes on the A444 and the ring road. The audit recommended moving the signs to ensure brightness levels do not affect the driver's viewing ability to reduce collisions.

A 'decision log' by the council said it would look at relocating the signs when designs are drawn up. It said the brightness will be controlled by sensors to ensure it reflects background levels and aligns with industry standards. The screens will also be off from 11pm to 6am.

A lighting assessment will also be carried out to measure the intensity of the screen's brightness. The report adds that moving images and directional symbols won't be allowed and the council will have to show the structures can handle the screens. They concluded the signs are "acceptable in terms of public safety."

Readers took to the CoventryLive Facebook page to give their verdict on the new screen plans.

Paul McDonagh said: "Reduce accidents by putting massive screens on busy roads? Makes perfect sense while TomO said: "A distraction for drivers, likely to cause more accidents - total dangerous nonsense."

Megan said: "Going bankrupt but finding money for this why can't they use the money on the things that are needed in this city."

Sillybait said: "Another waste of money, all that money spent on signs to advise them which lane to be in (but gets completely ignored) so traffic flows then you decide to put some massive screens over a main road, so if someone slows down to read it and gets tailgated who's going to pay out?"

Steveo1978 said: "Another project that will end with the screens not working and Coventry City Council spending out money."

A spokesperson for Coventry City Council said: “All locations have been subject to a Road Safety Audit. Following this, we have relocated two of the screens and plan to adjust the brightness of the other x to ensure they are all appropriate and safe.

“These screens are an important way of keeping residents informed and updated on events and issues in the city. We are proud to be the second best digitally connected city in the UK, and we are investing in continuing this work as we welcome exciting new developments such as City Centre South, Two Friargate and the Cultural Gateway.

“These new digital screens will also help to generate new revenue through commercial advertising to support the continued delivery of the Council’s frontline services to help mitigate the financial challenges faced by all councils.”

What do you think of the plans for huge screens in Coventry? Let us know in the comments below.

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