Plan to reduce road signs announced

  • Government wants to cut back on 'jungle' of signs
  • Signs needing offical approval to be cut by 40%
  • More driver info signs to be introduced to cut jams

The Government is planning to dramatically cut the number of road signs on the UK roads as part of a major review designed to cut bureaucracy and costs.

It will be the biggest review of Britain's traffic signing system for 40 years and the Government hopes it 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 idea is to cut red tape by allowing councils to put in place frequently used signs without needing to get government permission every time. There are also proposals to save councils money by allowing them to publicise their Traffic Regulation Orders rather than forcing them to pay for newspaper advertising.

However, the review also includes plans to introduce new driver information signage including signs indicating parking spaces with charging points for electric vehicles. More signage giving estimated journey times on cycle routes is also proposed.

Transport Minister Norman Baker said: “Sometimes the jungles of signs and tangles of white, red and yellow lines can leave people more confused than informed. This expensive clutter can also leave our roadsides looking unsightly and unwelcoming, so the changes will help councils cut the number of signs they need to use."

The proposals also include the introduction of 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;

The government plan hopes to reducing costs for councils wanting to use 20mph schemes by cutting the number of signs they need to put in place and making it easier to use variable 20mph speed limits where necessary, such as outside schools. Overall, it is hoped the plan willl result in a reduction in signs requiring government authorisation of around 40%.