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South Shields town centre’s new advertising signs dubbed ‘unsightly’ and ‘a waste of money’

The new King Street Metro bridge sign
The new King Street Metro bridge sign

Giant advertising screens which have been put up in South Shields town centre have been met with a mixed reaction.

The 15ft-high illuminated advertising signs have been placed on both sides of the Metro bridge in King Street.

King Street's new look

King Street's new look

The move follows a controversial 10ft by 20ft sign installed on the A194 Leam Lane, approaching Whitemare Pool roundabout in Jarrow.

The latest screens, displaying adverts and information on upcoming shows and events, is another way the cash-strapped council is attempting to generate income.

When asked by former councillor Lee Hughes and through a Freedom of Information request by the Gazette how much revenue the sign generates, the local authority refused to answer.

It said that information was “commercially confidential” and could give competitors an advantage.

They’ll either be broken or covered in seagull droppings, there’s a bird sitting on one of them now. They won’t last five minutes without being damaged

Tony Smith

Shoppers yesterday appeared unimpressed, but called them a necessary evil due to council’s lack of cash.

Tony Smith, 50, an electrician from The Nook, South Shields, said: “The signs are a total waste of money.

“The council could surely have better spent taxpayers’ cash on improving some of the boarded-up shops or reducing rents to get businesses back in.

“I think they look all right, but come Friday and Saturday nights they’re going to have things thrown at them.

“They’ll either be broken or covered in seagull droppings - there’s a bird sitting on one of them now. They won’t last five minutes without being damaged.”

Retired GP practice manager Linda Swan, 72, of Shiremoor, North Tyneside, said: “What a waste of money. They look unsightly and people risk tripping over when they try to look up at them.

“Then again, the council doesn’t have much money so perhaps they’re a necessary evil in this day and age.

Retired miner Michael Driver, 63, of Clayside House, South Shields, a regular at coffee shop Café Nero, which is just a few yards from the signs, said: “I think they are stunning, quite fantastic.

“The colours are very attractive, and they let you know what’s going on.

“Old people will struggle to look up at them at close range but from a distance away they will look fine.”

No-one from South Tyneside Council was avalable for comment on the new signs.