Anything purposefully in a road, or by a road, and to do with the road, but not actually the road. I didn't believe it myself - who came up with this ridiculous piece of jargon? - until I heard it on the radio: in the UK at the moment, councils and planners are discussing whether or not we have too much 'road furniture' and are obscuring towns and countryside with it. Are we, in fact, stopping people from paying attention to the 'road furniture' by having too much 'road furniture'. (War, famine and general nastiness abound, and what are we doing about it? Discussing the elimination of road furniture!) No, it wasn't a Monty Python sketch.

Sad, is what it was.

Bollards, signs, catseyes (I guess), chevrons, those little plastic things with keep left and keep right arrows on them that light up during the day (and seem to turn off, mysteriously, at night), traffic calming devices and so on are all road furniture. And we have too much of it!

They were actually discussing it on the radio.

I would have been far more ready to take it seriously had it been real furniture: the M6 foot stool; the dual-carriageway double-bed; the cycle-path futon... Maybe Ikea should consider it as a range. (Maybe, come to think of it, they already have.)

Road furniture? For goodness sake!

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