Road sign system to undergo radical overhaul

12.00 | 11 November 2014 | | 3 comments

The DfT is to introduce new road signs using both imperial and metric measurements following a consultation into the country’s traffic signing system which has been in use since 1964.

The consultation response says: “While the signs themselves continue to perform well, in recent years it’s become clear that the legislation that underpins them, the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions (TSRGD), is out of date and in need of an overhaul.

“To help work out how it should change, we carried out a complete review of signing policy culminating in ‘Signing the Way’, published in 2011, which set out recommendations for delivering a modernised TSRGD.

“We are now presenting a radically different TSRGD, which will provide significant benefits for local authorities responsible for designing and installing signs on their roads.

“TSRGD has been restructured to provide more flexibility and a much greater range of sign designs that should substantially cut the need for the DfT to specially authorise signs. This will be a significant saving for local authorities, and reflects the fact that they are best placed to know what signing solutions are suitable for their roads."

The consultation launched on 1 May and closed on 12 June 2014 and received 442 responses which included 154 local authorities in Great Britain.

The Telegraph says the new-style signs will be introduced as old ones are replaced as part of plans to “modernise the road network”.

It quotes a DfT spokesman as saying: "Displaying dual measures of height and width restrictions make it easier for drivers and is designed to help improve safety on our roads. There are no plans to duplicate any other type of traffic sign.”

Talking to BBC News, the Road Haulage Association welcomed the move, saying: "We’d welcome it on safety grounds. As far as foreign operators are concerned, it’s got to be good news as it will make their drivers more aware of height and width restrictions."

However, in the Telegraph article Luke Bosdet, a spokesman for the AA, warned: "Motorists and hauliers have got used to seeing signs in feet and inches. In fast moving traffic if they glance up and read the metric metres first, there could be a problem."


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    Anyone who thinks that most people think in metric need only ask someone how tall he is.
    For this reason I feel certain that this change will cause more problems than it solves, albeit more for tall vehicles than sportscars. Yet another nail in the coffin of this country’s identity.

    Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield
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    I think that Luke Bosdet of the AA is out of touch with reality. Having lived in a bilingual country (Sputh Africa), I am aware that the mind has an amazing ability to filter out “irrelevant” information – in this case one of the measurements. As long as the metric units are always at the top (which appears to be the plan), this sign should not pose any problems.

    Martin Vlietstra, Fleet
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    I read an article the other day in a national newspaper about the change of mileage etc so isn’t this going hand in hand with the above?

    bob craven Lancs
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