Just returned from our first holiday on the Isle of Wight. The place seemed very downmarket and totally at odds with many of the reviews I have seen on tripadvisor and elsewhere. I understand that many streets in many UK towns have empty shop units and peeling paint but almost everywhere except Cowes on the IOW appeared worn out and neglected. What REALLY wound me up was the fact that the local authorities on the island appear to be making no effort whatsoever to foster tourism even though it must make up a great deal of the income and jobs in the area. The first sign of this was being unable to read any of the on-surface road direction signs which had worn off years ago and had apparently been forgotten about. This made for difficult driving, particularly in complex intersections in, say, Newport where one quite simply lost track of where one was going. How much does it cost to renew white painted on-surface road signs? They just don't appear to care and that is obviously a form of commercial suicide! The thing which convinced me that whoever is in charge of road-signage wants sacking was the additional difficulty of not being able to see hardly any of the regular metal road direction signs because of them being obscured by shrubs and undergrowth. I realise that in high-summer most herbage runs rampant but so should everyone else including the civic authorities but it looks like they just can't be bothered on the IOW. Seriously I am not being over-sensitive. Almost every road sign was obscured sufficiently to make it impossible to read. The same thing can be said of the so called 'Quiet Lanes' (narrow roads with very high hedgerows, like in Cornwall, which criss-cross the island. They do have some passing places but you could hardly get into them because the hedges hadn't been cut back for years. I actually saw two cyclists having to back-up in order to let an estate car through! Maybe the IOW doesn't want tourists or maybe the people who care for the environment there are too thick to realise that details like this make or break a holiday and ensure new tourists never come back. I won't be because I became sick of having to take detours and do three-point-turns in dangerous places. Additionally, you can't rely on your satnav because if you do you'll find yourself sent down a 'Quiet Lane' in a gridlock facing other angry car users. If the Isle of Wight people can't be bothered then neither can I. This basic requirement tarnished an otherwise good and restful holiday.