Pointless road signs in firing line under government crackdown
Bus and coach drivers should have fewer pointless and out-of-date road signs to contend with under new powers that will be awarded to councils from Tuesday, April 22.
The government will allow councils to remove unnecessary signage in a bid to reduce the number of roadway signs which are estimated to have doubled from 2.45 million signs in 1993 to 4.57 million in 2013.
All ‘new layout ahead’ signage (pictured below) will need to have ‘remove by’ dates applied to the back so they are not left on display for years unnecessarily.
The recommended time limit for displaying these signs will be three months.
“They will now have ‘remove by’ dates on the back, so residents know when they should go and can hold their local authorities to account,” the Department for Transport said.
“Councils are responsible for signs on their local roads and are expected to save £30 million in running costs by 2020 as a result of the simpler new sign rules.
“Fewer signs also need to be lit than before, which will save energy costs and light pollution. Safety signs must still be lit, for example – stop signs or signs for low bridges.
“Too many signs look ugly and stop drivers seeing only essential messages. Cutting the number and size of signs will help reduce unnecessary eyesores for all road users and local residents.”
Sir Alan Duncan MP has been appointed to lead a taskforce to look further into the removal of pointless street signage with further crackdowns expected.
In other reforms to be introduced:
- A requirement for both a sign and a road marking has been removed in some cases, for example, a mandatory cycle lane or ‘permit holders only’ parking bay now only need to be shown with a road marking
- Only 1 sign now needs be installed to show the start of a traffic restriction such as no entry, or no left-turn if it’s safe
- The requirement to place repeat speed limit signs has been removed and councils can make their own decisions on how many speed limit signs are needed so that drivers know what limits apply
- Councils can now install new eye-level cycle traffic lights to make busy junctions easier and safer for cyclists
- Smaller sizes are now available for signs such as those aimed only at walkers and cyclists to avoid cluttering roads needlessly
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