Have your say about the road signs in Britain

New plans to allow local councils in Great Britain the freedom to cut down the number of road markings and signs, were announced by Roads Minister Robert Goodwill today and you are unvited to have your say.

The changes are included in a new consultation which also contains proposals for clearer road markings, and changes to which roadsigns should be independently lit.

The proposals will reduce the number of signs that the Department for Transport will need to authorise and streamline the approval process for councils, who were issued new guidance on clutter last year.

Roads Minister Robert Goodwill said; “The number of signs have soared from 2 million in 1993 to over 4.6million today. This is causing unnecessary clutter in our towns and cities. “The proposed changes will mean greater flexibility for councils to cut the number of signs, whilst ensuring consistency and making sure our roads are even safer for cyclists and motorists.”

Given that the proposals also include options for councils to use road markings, or signs, or both, it’s difficult to see how it will improve consistency, but the proposals will also look to relax yellow-box junctions to give local councils greater flexibility in designing road layouts and markings.

The Department for Transport also plans to introduce a range of measures to help local authorities make roads safer for cyclists and encourage more people to take to two wheels, but alas, not powered two wheels. These include;
•bigger cycle boxes at traffic lights to make it safer for cyclists at junctions
•low-level traffic light signals and filters that give cyclists a ‘head start’ on other traffic
•roll-out of shared crossings for pedestrians and cyclists which allow those on a bicycle to cross the road safety
•removing the ‘lead-in’ lanes at advance stop lines, which force cyclists to enter a cycle box alongside the kerb

The department has worked closely with local councils, traffic authorities, sign makers and consultants to revise the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions (TSRGD), which offers clear guidance to local councils on road signs and makings.

The consultation closes on 12 June 2014 and although it’s primarily designed for Highways Officers, there’s nothing to stop you having your say. Further information can be found here