The DfT has announced plans to radically overhaul the central legislation governing traffic sign design and use, with revised legislation to come into force in March 2015 (transport-network.co.uk).
The proposals for a dramatically revised version of the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions (TSRGD) legislation will be put out to public consultation by February 2014, with a peer review process expected to begin in the next few weeks.
Local traffic and transport officers will be given the chance to respond to the reforms through a peer review process delivered by the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) and the Institute of Highways Engineers (IHE).
Among the proposals are plans to significantly reduce regulations on the use of ‘repeater signs’, meaning local authorities could have sole discretion over signing such measures as a speed limit change rather than having to repeat the signs at ‘regular’ intervals.
Another proposal would give highway authorities sole discretion over sign lighting by removing the mandatory requirement for direct lighting on certain signs altogether.
Announcing the proposals at Traffex 2013 today, Graham Hanson, head of traffic signs policy at the DfT, said: “By prescribing less, by providing less regulation we are saying we trust in the skills and judgement of the local authority and sign designer to make appropriate decisions for their area.”
Delegates at the conference questioned Mr Hanson on the possible legal implications of the proposals, with some local practitioners expressing concern over possible increases in legal challenges against councils.
Mr Hanson emphasised that engineers and sign designers would have to take responsibility for how they interpreted the changes and capitalised on any new freedoms.
The 20’s Plenty campaign welcomed the announcment, describing it as a ‘triumph of comon sesne’.
Rod King, 20’s Plenty founder, said: “This is a triumph of common sense. It would cut 20mph limit costs.
"With recent more flexible mixing of zones and limits, easing of Traffic Regulation Order red tape and recommendations within latest guidance on wide-area 20mph limits, we expect near universal adoption of 20mph limits for residential roads."
Click here to read the full ‘transport-network.co.uk’ report.