COUNCIL bosses have defended new road signs warning of ice, claiming they are an important additional safety measure and not health and safety gone mad, as one Worcester News reader has claimed.

Jerry Johns, of Clifton-upon-Teme, near Martley, got in touch with your Worcester News after spotting dozens of the new signs on the roadside around the county.

He said: “Is this yet another example of health and safety gone mad? Most folk round here know it’s winter and there is the occasional risk of ice.

“The signs themselves are more of a traffic hazard than any ice that may be on the road.”

Jon Fraser, customer and community manager for highways at Worcester-shire County Council, said the signs were introduced as an extra precaution in wintry weather and had been generally very well received.

“The safety of road users is extremely important, particularly during the winter months when ice is a potential hazard,” he said.

“For the first time, this year we’ve introduced ice warning signs as an additional precautionary measure to warn road users in areas where there is increased risk, such as surface run-off from fields.

“The response to the new signs has so far been very positive. The majority of drivers and pedestrians appreciate the extra warning these signs give in addition to the gritting that we undertake across the county “When roads are icy, I’d urge motorists to drive with caution, and never to assume it’s safe to travel at normal speeds even if they believe roads have been treated with grit.”

This week, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin launched a crusade against unnecessary road signs.

In a letter to councils, Mr McLoughlin called on them to remove any old, confusing or ugly signs.

His campaign was backed by the Campaign to Protect Rural England, which branded the signs a forest of clutter.