Vandalism costs over €200.000 a year – Protective films are coming

The funds available in the budget of the Department of Public Works are not enough to fully deal with the phenomenon, says the Minister. Transportation

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A fund of more than €200.000 is spent every year to deal with vandalism, said the Minister of Transport, Communications and Works, Alexis Vafeadis.

Mr. Vafeadis, in a letter he sent to AKEL MP, Nikos Kettiros, spoke of a "daily phenomenon" of vandalism and inscription of slogans on road signs. Previously, Mr. Kettiros in a letter sent to the Minister of Transport, asked to be informed what the plans of the Ministry are to solve this new phenomenon, since as he stated "it has been observed that on main and side roads some people destroy the traffic signs, with the result that the drivers have no guidance even for the areas not even for the speed limit".

The Association of Tourism Enterprises of Cyprus (STEK) had recently expressed its strong discomfort with the growing phenomenon of vandalism of road signs using spray paint and the lack of proper maintenance, especially in relation to the insufficient cleaning of road signs from tree branches.

There are not enough funds

In his letter, the Minister revealed that the funds available in the budget of the Department of Public Works are not sufficient to fully deal with the phenomenon, while, as he noted even in signs that had recently been replaced and cost the State several thousand euros, it was observed that within for a few days various slogans had been written on them.

In response, Mr. Vafeadis informed the AKEL Member of Parliament that crews of the District Offices that inspect the road network, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Public Works, locate and record the damaged signs. "In the cases where the signs refer to the speed limit or road signs where their size is smaller than the size of the direction signs, the crews proceed to replace them immediately", he pointed out.

In addition, he noted that the work of replacing all damaged highway signs, either because they have been damaged by vandalism or natural wear and tear, is being carried out gradually in all provinces.

Regarding the highways of the Limassol district, Mr. Vafeadis added that all the signs have been replaced and a new tender is being prepared for the replacement of the three signs on the intercity roads as well as for the replacement of the highways. At the same time, he said that in Nicosia District most of the highway signs have been repaired/replaced

Digital Printer Recruited – Protective film for graffiti is also coming

As mentioned by the Minister of Transport, the works of replacing the signs are mainly carried out by contractors under respective Contracts with the Department of Public Works. At the same time, however, work is being carried out in the registration offices of the District Offices of Nicosia and Limassol.

In order to upgrade the quality of the signs but also to achieve better results in terms of their easy cleaning without altering the reflectivity of the signs, the Department of Public Works has already procured a Digital Road Signage Sign Printer for Limassol District, said Mr. Vafeadis, adding at the same time, that he will proceed with the purchase of a second one for the Nicosia District for the work carried out in the registration offices of their District Offices.

At the same time, he explained that with the Digital Printing of Signs, the protective film for graffiti can also be applied.

"In this case, the maximum protection of the sign is ensured", he pointed out. "In the existing signs, however, where the coating was done in the conventional way, without placing a protective film, the cleaning carried out by crews of the District Offices of the Department of Public Works, is neither easy nor so effective."

As the Minister of Transport underlined, the application of materials available on the domestic market appeared to alter the reflectivity of the signs.