23 November 2014

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Scots give thumbs down to traffic notices plan

New research has showed further opposition to the government’s plans to remove the requirement on councils to publish details of road works in local papers.

Earlier this week it emerged that a public consultation in Wales had resulted in just 12pc of respondents backing the move, which industry leaders say could cost the local press £20m a year.

As a result the Welsh Government has now scrapped the idea although UK ministers have yet to follow suit.

Now newspaper bossees in Scotland have published similar research into the government’s proposals, which would allow councils to use their own websites to publicise the notices.

It found that respondents were more than four times as likely to expect to find public notices in their local newspaper or newspaper website than on a local government website.

The study, commissioned by the Scottish Newspaper Society, also found two out of three people would only read a public notice if they “came across it in their local newspaper”

Society president Tim Blott commented: “Removing such notices from the people’s preferred media choice will dramatically reduce awareness of public activity and have a significant effect on the nature of debate regarding changes to the fabric of our society.

“The Welsh government have shown a common sense response to what quality research shows. Public Notices are an important public service, and their removal from local newspapers will be deeply unpopular.”



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