The Isle of Wight will be rolling out new signage next year for the outskirts of all cities, towns and villages announcing the name of the community and population. All communities going forward will have a standardized format sign with the same font, colour, design and a population designation of 1,071, except for Newport and Ryde which have a much larger numbers of residents.
Mitch Gifford, spokesman for the island's tourism consultant, David Pugh Enterprises 1997, said standardized signs are the way that other major tourism centres such a Mexico and Paraguay are going and dismissed the obvious cost benefits that would be accrued by the signage company that has been hired to fabricate the signs, David Pugh Signage Express. "Smaller communities with less than 1,000 inhabitants often do not make it to tourism maps even though they may have quite strong tourist attractions."
Mayor Tom Shovel of Ryde agreed, "People will now be able to focus on the many charms and delights of our communities without being distracted by minor fluctuations in population."
Mayor Shovel added that standardized population signs will also discourage the dangerous practice by tourists of counting villagers in smaller communities that has led to many near traffic accidents in recent times endangering both people and livestock.
Longtime resident Marjorie Stevens 87, of 7 Bettsworth, called the recommendations for the new signage Piffle! "What has happened to giving tourists a friendly smile and kind word?"