What’s the point? Norwich sign sends tourists in circles

Sign in Tombland which is facing the wrong direction. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Sign in Tombland which is facing the wrong direction. Picture : ANTONY KELLY - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

What's the point? That is the question being asked in Norwich - in numerous languages.

Sign in Tombland which is facing the wrong direction. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Sign in Tombland which is facing the wrong direction. Picture : ANTONY KELLY - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

For visitors to our Fine City have been left perplexed and reaching for maps - because of a sign that sends them in a spin.

The tourist information sign at the top of Tombland is supposed to help people get to some of the city's most popular and eye-catching places, including the Puppet Theatre and Pulls Ferry.

But people would be wise to ignore it - for every direction is wrong.The sign for the Norwich Puppet Theatre points towards Prince Street whereas the theatre is on Whitefriars.

Ian Woods, operations manager at the Norwich Puppet Theatre said: 'This is the first time we have actually noticed the sign but it may have been caused by night time revelry.'

The correct and incorrect routes. Picture: Archant

The correct and incorrect routes. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant


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There is much speculation surrounding the cause of the sign being wrong. From someone doing it on purpose to it being installed incorrectly.

'People do ask where we are so having the signs up across the city is important,' Mr Woods added, 'especially in the summer with the visitor economy who may not be familiar with Norwich.

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'Originally we weren't on the signs so when they [Norwich City Council] refurbished the signs we had a campaign to get ourselves on them again.'

It is unknown how long the sign has been facing the wrong way but it was brought to light after concerned Norwich resident Steph Cooper had to keep telling tourists the correct way to the listed destinations.

Sign in Tombland which is facing the wrong direction. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Sign in Tombland which is facing the wrong direction. Picture : ANTONY KELLY - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

Ms Cooper said: 'I have had to explain to quite a few perplexed tourists recently that their maps are correct and the signpost is wrong.

'It would appear that to get to Pulls Ferry, for instance, you need to head towards Magdalen Street.

'I did report this to the council a month or so ago but, as nothing has yet been done to rectify the situation.'

The signs around Norwich are maintained by Norwich City Council who were unable to comment.

Sign in Tombland which is facing the wrong direction. Picture : ANTONY KELLY

Sign in Tombland which is facing the wrong direction. Picture : ANTONY KELLY - Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017

The Fine City is a popular tourist destination, with tourists flocking from around the world to sample its culture, cathedrals and medieval churches which it has become famous for.

What tourist think of the sign

With the sign sending tourists all over the city this is how visitors reacted when they discovered it was wrong.

Karen McTaggart, 73, from Philadelphia, US said: 'The sign is definitely misleading and was about to send us in the wrong direction for the Puppet Theatre. I shouldn't have to ask someone on the street rather than tourist signs for directions.'

Ellie Jones, 19, from Pembrokeshire, Wales said: 'The sign looks wrong, but I can use Google Maps instead, which I guess older people might not be able to do, so it could be worse for them.'

Mr Sinfield, 68, from London said: 'The signs are not helpful around here so I'm having to use a 50-year-old map which I think is still more accurate than that sign.'

Bridget Mitchell, 60, from Kent said: 'The sign is useless and could cause real problems for people who need to get to the train station but don't know where it is.'

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