Council reviews roadside shrine limits

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Memorial

Plymouth County Council will meet and discuss imposing a limit on the amount of time roadside shrines will be allowed to remain.

The shrines or memorials - that often include flowers, gifts and message from grieving families and friends - are usually placed by the side of a road following a road traffic accident but councillors are concerned the tributes could be a distraction for drivers and become an eyesore if they are left unattended.

The council will meet to discuss imposing a 13-month limit on the roadside memorials, which will subsequently be removed and disposed of should they exceed the proposed time limit.

But supporters of the memorials say they are extremely important to friends, family and loved ones and form an important part of the grieving process.

The BBC spoke to Jane and Keith Croft from Plympton, who lost their son Michael Croft in a road collision 18 months ago, and have subsequently installed a shrine for him by the roadside.

Mrs Croft said: "For his many friends, this is where they come to think about him and show their respects. "It's not neglected... I fail to see how any of this is a distraction.

"We would hope that if it saves one life, then we're doing some good in Mike's name."

Councillor Brian Vincent, the cabinet member for environment at Plymouth City Council, agreed that the shrines were important to grieving families and friends but feels a time limit needs to be set to ensure they are not left neglected.

He told the BBC: "I can fully understand people's emotions with the loss of a loved one.

"But we have to look at everyone's views on this and try to draw up a happy medium, and put in criteria that need to be followed by everyone."