The National Traction Engine Trust

Unnecessary Whitehall bureaucracy will be tackled and costs for councils reduced following the biggest review into Britain's traffic signing system for 40 years, announced today by Transport Minister Norman Baker.

The government hopes that the review will dramatically reduce the number of signs councils need to use by relaxing rules - such as by removing the requirement for some signs - including those to indicate the start of a pedestrian zone, to be placed on both sides of the road.

The new framework includes measures to update and improve traffic signs to make sure that they reflect the way we travel now, as well as providing clear information on prohibitions on the road network. Changes will include: 

  • measures to improve cycle journeys by allowing journey times as well as distances to be added to signs on cycle routes and making it easier for councils to use Trixi mirrors to improve visibility of cyclists at junctions and 'no entry except cycles' signs to allow contra-flow cycling
  • a new sign warning lorry drivers that a road is unsuitable for their vehicles. This will help to prevent situations where lorries following sat nav systems use inappropriate roads, sometimes causing disruption to the local road network and delays to their journey
  • measures to simplify some parking signs after research showed that, although overall understanding of traffic and parking signs among drivers is good, there is scope for some signs to be made clearer
  • allowing councils to use innovative new measures such as pedestrian countdown timers and diagonal crossings without government approval

05 Nov 2011