Every so often the public remind us why the campaign exists in a way that leaves no question about the need for plain English.
Photo of sign located on the border between Chadderton and Royton along the A663, Broadway - courtesy of Damian Slevin
Damian, a local resident, tells us he has passed this sign for many years, baffled by the possible interpretations. The wonders of technology have now allowed him to circulate the photo among his friends, but with no enlightenment offered, he resorted to us.
We were just as bemused, before doing some research and discovering that the official explanation of a permissive route is:
'a route (usually footpaths or bridleways) where the landowner is happy for people to walk or ride, but does not intend them to become public rights of way. Many permissive routes are created as part of the Environmental Stewardship Scheme, administered by Natural England.'
Perhaps this Italian road sign seen near Treviso would have made more sense of the 'permissive in nature only'.
Public information should be understandable first time round - not many walkers are likely to refer to the internet for an explanation during a ramble, neither are the motorists who were given an website address on the illuminated matrix signs on the M62 in Scotland - supposedly to help them check their travel details.
Plain English Campaign will be holding our annual awards in December and will definitely be entering Damian's nomination for one of our Golden Bull awards. Please send us your nominations for any signs that contain jargon or gobbledygook.