THE recent temperamental weather has clouded the judgement of those in charge of Lancashire County Council’s electronic road signs.

Motorists and residents in Burnley have been left scratching their heads after two roadside matrix signs displayed messages warning them to prepare for winter.

The authority said the signs — one in Colne Road and another in Westway — had been affected by building work in the town centre.

Despite East Lancashire’s gritters having been resting up since March, the signs direct passers-by to the winter section of the county council’s website, which offers advice on gritting, clearing snow and ice, and driving in dangerous conditions.

Pedestrian Steve Macken looked amused as he walked past the notice on Monday, but county councillor Jeff Sumner said mistakes on the sign could have risky implications for drivers.

Coun Sumner, Lib Dem member for Burnley South West, said: “I think we are crying out for them in the borough for things like road closures, but they can’t be giving out wrong information.

“If what they say isn’t useful then they need looking at.”

Coun Shah Hussain, who represents Daneshouse with Stoneyholme ward where the Colne Road sign is based, said he passed both signs on a regular basis. The Labour member said: “I find the Westgate one very helpful. It gives out good information about free parking and I think a lot of people take notice of it.

“The Colne Road one I tend to take much less notice of.

“It isn’t updated very often and it wouldn’t surprise me if that message had been there for some months.

“When used correctly they can give out good messages, but I would like to see the Colne Road one updated more often.”

County Hall bosses were unable to confirm how much the signs cost to install and maintain.

Martin Galloway, head of network management for the county council, said: “We have a number of these electronic signs around the county and unfortunately we're currently experiencing some problems with the two in Burnley.

“They are controlled by radio transmitters on buildings in the town centre and it appears that recent development in the area, or interference from other sources, has weakened the signal.

“We're currently investigating the problem and hope to be able to resolve it soon.”