Traffic signs review will cut bureaucracy

10.27 | 17 October 2011 | | 3 comments

The Government says that bureaucracy and costs for councils will reduce as a result of the biggest review of Britain’s traffic signing system for 40 years, announced recently by the DfT.

The Government hopes that the review will dramatically reduce the number of signs councils need to use by relaxing rules and removing the requirement for some signs.The review has been welcomed by the natioanl cyclists’ organisation, the CTC.

The new measures are designed to cut red tape by allowing councils to put in place frequently used signs without Government permission. There are also proposals to save councils money by allowing them to publicise their Traffic Regulation Orders in a manner that is appropriate for the target audience, rather than forcing them to pay for newspaper advertising, as is currently the case.

In addition, there will be changes to reflect the way that travel has transformed over the decades, to make sure that road users get the right information at the right time. There will be new signs to alert drivers to parking spaces with charging points for electric vehicles and councils will be able to indicate estimated journey times on cycle routes, to help people plan their journeys.

Norman Baker, transport minister, said: “This is the most far-reaching review of traffic signs in 40 years. We are cutting pointless bureaucracy, giving councils more freedoms, and updating our suite of signs for the modern era.

“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 I am announcing today will help councils cut the number of signs they need to use.

“We will also be allowing councils to use different ways to get information to drivers, encouraging them to question whether some signs are needed at all and publishing new advice for councils to help them reduce clutter on their roads.

“We want to make sure that there is consistency across the country while allowing local authorities greater discretion in how they use signs on their roads rather than demanding they get approval from Whitehall for signs they need to use regularly.

“These changes will ultimately save councils money and lead to more attractive streets which improve the quality of life for local people."

Chris Peck, policy co-ordinator for CTC, welcomed the news, saying: “Local authorities will have the freedom to allow two-way cycling on quiet one-way streets with a simple sign change. This has long been common practice in Europe and is a safe, sensible approach to improving cycle access whilst reducing street clutter. The move to give greater local flexibility over signing may help make it easier for authorities to allow cycling where current regulations create a stumbling block.”

Click here to read the full DfT press release.


Comment on this story

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Report a reader comment

Order by Latest first | Oldest first | Highest rated | Lowest rated

    Cyclists riding the wrong way up a one way street?

    Is this not a recipe for an increase in collision figures for a vunerable road user group?

    If my understanding of Bikeability is correct, cyclists are encouraged to claim their section of road, which to my way of thinking will lead to head on conflict.

    It may work abroad, but this is not “Abroad” this is the UK with its own particular driving styles and issues.
    Along with removing funding for Safety Camera’s, it is another example of not what will make it safer, but what will make us popular!

    Steve Barber – Northants.
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Unfortunately, what the minister has observed is the result of years of disregard for good signing practice. Traffic signing is a specialism that has not been given proper regard for many years. Competent engineers already balance whether signs and road markings are necessary, rather than blindly follow guidance. More specialist traffic sign engineers are required across the country, not changes to legislation. I make these observations as a frustrated former traffic sign designer.

    Stuart Geddes, Stirling
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Enabling the councils to ‘do their own thing’ is not a good idea. Without someone or something overlooking the decisions we have self regulation which basically means no accountability. And we all know how that ends up.

    Just another knee jerk reaction to saving monies.

    Seems like the only people who have had insight [ perhaps some campaigning ]into this change and are obviously in support of it is the cycle everywhere lobby.

    Suprise suprise.

    Bob Craven, Lancs
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.