Mystery of the moving sign

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Someone or something is frequently moving a Cranleigh public footpath sign so that it faces the wrong way.

Apart from a fortnight in August, the sign has rarely stayed facing the right way for more than a few hours or a day or two at the most.

The sign in question is by the side of Elmbridge Road, the B2130. It is on the narrow bridge over the Wey and Arun Canal, where there is one-way working.

Leaving Cranleigh, in the direction of Godalming, the sign should point to the left towards the canalside footpath. Frequently though it has been moved by approximately 90 degrees, so it points back to Cranleigh along the main road.

As the Open Spaces Society representative for Waverley, I first reported the problem to Surrey County Council almost three years ago.

I regret in that time the council has not been able to secure the post so it can’t be moved.

I and others have corrected it on many occasions, but it doesn’t stay facing the right direction for long.

For local people, who know the route, it doesn’t matter very much that the sign is wrong, but it completely confuses visitors. I have met several people who have missed out on the lovely walk along the bank of the canal and walked the much longer and much less attractive route via Elmbridge Road and Alfold Road.

I have been told that it is a criminal offence to move such signposts.

So I have recently reported the matter to the police.


Open Spaces Society, Bell Street, Henley on Thames