Pointless traffic signs to be axed

24/07/2014

Patrick McLoughlin, Transport Secretary, has called for a stop to ‘pointless’ signs claiming that the confuse drivers and make the roads more dangerous.

It has been revealed that the number of signs cluttering Britain’s roads has more than doubled in the past 20 years, up to 4.5million, with there being around one sign for every seven cars on the roads, therefore regulations are set to be tightened up.

Patrick McLoughlin said councils could clamp down on the constant alerts to motorists about loading restrictions, clearways, humps and speed limits, which are distracting and state the obvious.

‘Over the past two decades we’ve seen a huge rise in the number of unnecessary signs blotting the landscapes of our towns and cities’, he said.

McLoughlin said councils could clamp down on the constant signs reminding motorists about loading restrictions, clearways, humps and speed limits, which are distracting and state the obvious.

“Over the past two decades we’ve seen a huge rise in the number of unnecessary signs blotting the landscapes of our towns and cities”, he said.

“Many of the signs that go up are simply not needed and it has got to stop. As well as spoiling otherwise beautiful areas of the country, pointless signs just confuse drivers and make the roads less safe.”

A survey, completed last year by an insurance company, found that one in three drivers admitted having a crash or near miss due to confusing, pointless road signs.

The survey also revealed that most people did not understand what many of the road signs mean.

The number of clearway signs in yellow and black, which mean no stopping between certain times, have soared in the past 20 years, yet the survey suggested that 83% of people have no idea about them.

Nearly 7 in 10 people did not understand the red and blue circle which means no waiting, and half of drivers could not decipher a sign pointing out the correct lanes at a junction ahead.

The Department for Transport admitted shortly after the survey that Britain has around 9,000 signs which are redundant or misleading and need to be reviewed.

A source from the Department for Transport said: “We’re pushing for councils to stop pointlessly putting up loads of road signs where fewer would do the job fine.”

“It has become an issue as councils appear to have designated people whose job it is to handle what signs go up, some of whom are probably overzealous. It can end up looking hideous and all it does is confuse drivers.”

The department issued new guidance to councils about cutting pointless road signs last year and now they are taking further action by consulting on implementing central regulations.

Drivers will be asked whether they want to get rid of the requirement for speed limit repeater signs, and also axe signs when there are already road markings which provide adequate guidance.

Research published today shows the number of signs for speed bumps has soared by 2,000 per cent in 20 years. There were under 5,000 in 1993, and nearly 100,000 today.

The number of signs for clearways has risen from 3,444 to more than 110,000, priority restrictions from 1,572 to 23,000 and speed limit signs doubled from around 225,000 to 442,000.

The problem was symbolised two years ago by the village of Feock in Cornwall, which took on the council when the number of road signs reached a staggering 900, one for every three residents.

It was given the dubious honour of Britain’s most over-signed place, with its quaint country lanes and stunning views blighted by hundreds of duplicate direction sign posts and give way signs.

But after a battle with the council, it agreed to remove nearly 200 pointless signs.

For more information or to speak to a sales adviser, visit our website homepage at www.oseeuro.com, phone 0191 224 6710 or email sales@oseeuro.com.