From 22nd April 2016 the Department for Transport gave new powers to local Councils to take down pointless road signs that are an eyesore and that can cause distractions and leave drivers with just the signs they need to travel safely.
Signs that say ‘new’ layout ahead will have to have ‘remove by dates’ on the back so they are not needlessly left in place for years – and the new rules say that they should be taken down within 3 months. These 'remove by’ dates on the back will let motorists and residents know when they should go and can hold their local Council to account.
Examples of these signs are:
The new rules permit fewer signs need to be lit, which will save energy costs and light pollution. However, safety signs must still be lit, i.e. stop signs, give-way signs or signs for low bridges.
Other reforms that have been brought in are:
- the 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 - now 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 eye-level cycle traffic lights to make busy junctions easier and safer for cyclists
If you have a case involving mis-placed or confusing signs, please contact Jim Keenan or any of the RTA team at Keith Borer Consultants on 0191 3324999.