Roads to be cleared of ‘pointless signage’

18th April 2016

Roads to be cleared of 'pointless signage' (image credit: iStock/BrianAJackson)

UK motorists may be pleased to learn that new powers are being granted to local authorities up and down the country to remove "pointless" signage from the nation's roads.

From April 22nd, the Department for Transport is to grant new powers to councils to take down signage that is deemed to be unnecessary and out of date, as part of efforts to clean up and simplify the UK's transport network.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "Road signs should only be installed on our roads when they are essential. Our common-sense reforms will help get rid of pointless signs that are an eyesore and distract drivers.

"These new rules will also save £30 million in taxpayers' cash by 2020, leaving drivers with just the signs they need to travel safely."

Details of the scheme include the introduction of a new 'remove by' date on all temporary and new signage, as well as measures to ensure that all signage is properly illuminated on unlit roads. The initiative will also place a ban on temporary signs being cluttered with potentially distracting logos and advertisements.

Other reforms that are being introduced as part of these efforts to de-clutter the nation's transport network include a limit of one sign to be installed to show the start of traffic restrictions, such as no entry, no left-turn, etc, while the requirement to place repeat speed limit signs on longer stretches of carriageway has also been removed.

Overall, the number of signs on the UK's roads has more than doubled during the last 30 years, rising from 2.45 million in England in 1993 to an estimated 4.57 million in 2013 (the last time data of this nature was recorded).