"IF YOU report a burglary on the Isle of Wight there are no police officers to come and deal with it, but use a capital letter in the wrong place and they are down on you like a ton of bricks."

That was the response from an anonymous source, when road crossing warning signs outside Terry Ramplin's Christmas lights display at his Long Lane house were removed due to a grammatical error.

The signs, erected free of charge by HSS Hire, had been put in place to warn drivers about people crossing the busy Newport road to see the lights during the festive period.

However, the word 'crossing' had a capital C, and was reported to the police for being incorrect.

It is understood that highways contractors removed the original signs on the request of the police.

The unnamed source was one of several people who spoke to the County Press, incredulous at the removal of the signs.

Terry, who has put on the light show for 19 years, said: "It has taken me six weeks to put the display up and we will have hundreds of people here enjoying it, raising money for charity.

"People speed past and the time of night they start flooring it is precisely the time of night when the families come out with the children to visit us.

"Yesterday they came to take the road signs down after the police said they were wrong.

"I couldn't get to the bottom of it but it seemed like there was a capital C where there shouldn't have been one.

"The signs are here every year, and last night the speeds definitely went up when the signs weren't there.

"I just feel it was better to have some signs than none, especially with the amount of children that visit."

It is believed new signs, with the approved lettering, will be put in place today.

The proceeds of the Christmas lights will this year go to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance and Daisy Chains.

The County Press has contacted the Hampshire Constabulary and Island Roads for a comment.


HSS Hire has installed new signs, complete with approved wording and the correct amount of capital letters. See photo.

HSS stated: "The correct signs are now in place on Long Lane, Newport, we apologise for any inconvenience caused."

UPDATE 4.46pm:

A Hampshire Constabulary spokesperson responded to the County Press.

“Traffic Enforcement Advisors assist partner agencies to ensure that all signage on public highways is road legal to maintain the safety of road users and pedestrians.

“In this particular case a number of issues were identified with the signage on display, including a need for more detailed information to be added about the potential hazard ahead. This matter has since been resolved to improve safety for road users with alternative signage now on display.”