back to article UK launches major road signage review

Transport minister Rosie Winterton has announced a major review of the UK's road signs, and is inviting the unwashed masses to chip in their two bits' worth as to how Blighty's signage might be improved. As the Department for Transport press release explains, the review will "will ensure that traffic signs keep pace with the …

COMMENTS

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  1. Tanuki
    Happy

    Silly Billies.

    Perhaps they could finally get rid of the sign I know of which reads "Caution - new road layout" which has been in place for something over a decade!

  2. Stephen Jenner
    Happy

    Wrong side of the road.

    What a great idea, we do not, currently have enough road signs, and it should be noted that they are not "harmonized" with those of the EU.

    Last point, while we are at it, we should put the signs on the right hand side of the road, in preparation for a phased move to comply with the European Union standard.

  3. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Redesign them?

    And throw away thirty or forty years' worth of recognition? Very smart...

    Oh, wait, this is a *rebranding* exercise. Same signs, but piddled on by a designer.

    It probably makes more sense just to remove every second and third sign you come to, and get rid of the visual clutter that way - at least in city centres.

    Neil

    (Thumbs down, because Paris wants the old icons back!)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    great

    Are they planning to make every driver re-sit some sort of test to prove that they understand any new signs? As recognising signs is a part of the current test it would be irresponsible to allow people to drive when they might not be able to understand them.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Aren't road signs Europe wide?

    I thought the UK was signature to the "Vienna Convention on Road Traffic" treaty, which includes "Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals". I'm not expecting much out of this. Sounds more a of a money wasting exercise to me.

  6. William Clark

    Only a little weaking required.

    IMO UK road signs are pretty good and clear. I have just been driving in France and theirs are not bad, but unlike ours, lack useful detail until you get right to the turning.

    Having said that why does the 'no cycling' sign simply show a bicycle? - surely a bicycle with rider and a red stripe through it/them would be more logical??????

  7. Rob

    How much would you bet?

    That the review will conclude that all traffic signs should be re-designed to include CCTV and ANPR, along with periodically displaying a little green environmental homily?

  8. Alexis Vallance
    Thumb Down

    Clutter

    The graphic simplicity of the signage is sorted, so the only things left to do are to reduce the number of signs and clutter. The road where I work has THREE give ways signs at the end, all in front of each other for no apparent reason!

    Electronic signs are a nice idea, but since Manchester is inundated by a network of illuminated car park space signs that haven't worked for 5 or 6 years, the last thing we need are more of these.

    Road markings have gone mad over the last decade. Junctions are plastered with red and green coatings which last about a year before they disintegrate and become a confused mess.

    It's all well and good new technology and signage being implemented, but it's local councils that are the weak link since they have no funding.

    Forget a road sign review, how about spending some money on road resurfacing. Manchester's roads are crater filled.

  9. Dark Hippo
    Joke

    Prize for

    the first picture of a road sign with the BSoD displayed on it.

  10. Emmett Jenner
    Alert

    New sign?

    Pot-hole Ahead

  11. Chris

    Simple really...

    Remove about 80% of the bloody signs!

    I regularly drive a route where a dual carriageway turns into two single carriageway roads at a roundabout.

    In the 500m before the junction, in a single carriageway of the dual carriageway, there are THIRTY SEVEN signs...

    If someone installed landmines 10m from the roundabout and installed the necessary signs, carnage would result - because no one would see the warning signs in that mass of poorly considered visual information overload.

    These days I tend to attempt to simply blank out the roadside rubbish as it causes dangerous distraction.

    On familiar routes I try and concentrate on other road users, road conditions and my ECM systems. On unfamiliar routes I also attend to route instructions.

    Do I really NEED 3 'roundabout' signs, plus 6 'distance' warning markers for a clearly visible roundabout? Does ANYONE?

    I don't think so... and of the other 28 signs, possibly 6 might be of some use.

    Yet nearby, in the same county, there are, in urban areas, sprawling acreages of nearly deserted dual carriageways, punctuated at ridiculously short intervals by vast featureless roundabouts where it's pitifully easy to get completely lost if you don't know the area like the back of your hand - because there are virtually NO road signs whatsoever! Unlike the overkill available a mere 25 miles away.

    It strikes me that's what's needed is a comprehensive survey of what signs are where, because it appears no one actually KNOWS.

    And the abolition of signage installed because some obscure and ridiculous 'rule' mandates it is 'necessary'. The final decision for sign placement should be based on whether the information is essential to the majority of road users.

    Oh, and the new icons are indeed crap. If it ain't fcuked, why 'fix' it?

  12. Dave
    Alert

    Road Sign Review?

    How about a review of what the signs are saying?

    I am fed up of seeing non-sensical signs, that are actually correct, eg 'no right turn' qualified by, unless you are a Bus, Taxi or Cycle, into a normal, un-restricted road, forcing me to go once round the block so as to approach from a different direction, where-upon it is perfectly okay to turn.

  13. sabroni Silver badge
    Stop

    Signage?

    doesn't it read just as well if you write "UK launches major road sign review"? Signage is just a word invented by sign companies to make what they do sound cleverer, isn't it?

  14. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Thumb Up

    Not so much what they say

    Anyone else driving along the wonderful highways and by-ways of the UK notice the number of signs has gone up? Notice that it's usually one team puts up a sign to highlight something, then some unrelated team turn up 2 months later and put another sign up, but the second one is usually about 2 feet behind the first!

    About 2 months later some knob will call the local council and demand that a sign goes up to warn road users that, I dunno Fraggles may be crossing the roads and everyone needs to slow down. So another team turns up and puts the Beware of Fraggles sign, about 4 feet in front of the first one!

    Come 2 years later, there are about 15 signs, mostly contradicting each other, in the space of 75 yards of road!

    Fantastic!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    While we're at it...

    Lets change from miles to kilometers and drive on the right hand side instead of the left.

    More inline with Europe.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    A case for Honeywell Droids ?

    Could we not "kill two birds with one stone" here and program the proposed Honeywell anti-missile droids to circle the roads around airports broadcasting meaningful traffic messages to in-car sound systems (or even get Honeywell to design and sell (!) dashboard-mounted HUD-solutions to UK motorists ?), whilst waiting for the next aircraft to take-off / land ?

    They'll have to be careful not to get the two functions confused, mind you, ...... otherwise we'll get a lot of blinded motorists and (perhaps) a missile strike on a built-up strech of the M25 !!

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    4 points

    1. They will ignore any suggestions by people who actually use the roads, in favour of the opinions of the board of a PFI-led consortium who will actually be contracted to deliver the new signs, so why bother?

    2. What they should really do is remove most of them, and replace the rest with the ones with the plastic poles. That's it. I don't need to know this is a 'no phoning people whist driving remember' zone.

    3. Then they should remove the christmas lights at every rural road junction and roundabout. It's easier to see traffic at night *without* washing everything in orange.

    4. err, that's it.

  18. Dave Bell

    Traffic Sign Fonts

    In the past few years a special font has been designed for traffic signs, with the aim of being readable at a greater distance. It apparently started in US Academia, and, from what I recall, seems to live up to the claims.

    Google is your friend, of course, but there certainly are websites out there.

    The font we use in the UK was designed a long time ago. This is an area where the improvement would be pretty simple, though only on new signage.

    There's probably a fat contract in it for a bunch of consultants somewhere. I mean, would you trust anything the Americans told you?

  19. Adam Foxton
    Go

    Possible update?

    Datamatrix style 2D barcodes embedded in road signs- maybe only visible to IR cameras or suchlike. Should contain location and unique-sign-identifier number. Maybe even a standardised text version of the sign's contents.

    The camera can then estimate speed, improve GPS (with a known fixed location to work with you can make GPS more accurate in a similar manner to DGPS), and so on. Entirely passive, so no expensive power cables/solar panels (or potential for vehicle-tracking) and it'd make it far easier for digital-vision systems to find where they're going. Even better, it'd work in crowded urban environments (unlike GPS, which seems to fall over exactly when you least want it to...).

    And it could be used to get cars to warn Paedophile passengers to stay away from these areas (maybe between certain times like school leaving times) to stop them being tempted or falsely accused.

    Easy enough to do, green, helps nerds AND repels paedophiles? Truely a fantastic solution!

    ----

    This is likely to descend into a horrendous RFID-vehicle-trackers-under-every-sign "Big Chaffeur" system of road-surveilance.

    On the obligatory green front, completely redoing every sign in the UK does really seem like the most sensible solution to global warming...

  20. Mick Sheppard
    Stop

    Just less of them

    We need to remove as many signs as possible. I'm sure that a lot of them serve useful purposes but with new signs going up all the time it can take so long to scan signs for the information you are looking for that you've either missed the turn or rolled into the junction and hit someone.

    Whilst they are at it can they please stop lighting up the motorway signs with useless, obvious, information. When its foggy, or there is a lot of spray, the last thing I want is a huge illuminated sign distracting me with the words "Slow down Fog/Spray". Give me useful info or stay unlit.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    One step closer to driving on the right

    I don't think there's any doubt that the official UK road sign design standards are very clear. The problem is placing daft signs in daft places. However the big problem with the UK system is that it's neither green nor uses the Mittelschrift font like they use in Europe... so I think this is all a cunning plan to get rid of our signage and adopt a European standard.

    It'll be interesting to see whether they replace existing signs in ways that make it easier to switch to driving on the right in the future.

    So what do we want, the right to drive on the correct side of the road whilst swigging pints of beer and pounds of crisps, or cheap cars and 400ml girlie-shaped glasses of bier?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    how about a new sign

    Stick "NuNu Land" in a triangle. That is all.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    My favourite sign

    On the M6 - Sign not in use. Every time I read it I feel like I might be engulfed in a puff of logic paradox.

  24. Martin Lyne

    So..

    removing and reproducing millions of signs is supposed to "reduce emissions" how?

    Government should have more important things to worry about.. I love the "road liable to subsidence" signs. What am I meant to do with that information?

    Fit thrusters to the car floor? Brake if I see a giant hole? (BEcuase, normally I'd assume it was an illusion and just try to drive over it..)

    If you;re stationary on the motorway and the ground starts to sink, what can you do? *Sigh*

    Just look at how confused El Reggians are with the new signages. I preferred the old flame and heart icons. Japanimation = overkill.

  25. spam
    Stop

    up-to-date travel news

    I am amazed that we don't have enough money for road building or basic repairs but expensive hi-tech signs which can tell us in real-time how crap our roads are pop up all over the place.

    I can only assume there are some serious backhanders or political funding coming from those profiting from manufacture and installation of this stuff.

  26. Tom Chiverton

    Very simple

    Very simple - stop the overhead matrix signs saying 'NN minutes to Junction X'. This information is meaningless because X could be 1 or 15 miles away.

    Just tell me the current average speed (say) 2 miles in front.

    PS Stupid icons

    PPS Stupid fixed width page

  27. Anonymous John

    @ Silly Billies.

    Over a decade? That's nothing. The New forest is over 900 years old.

  28. Alan Brown Silver badge
    Coat

    invasion mentality?

    There's a standing joke that the UK removed all its road signs in 1939 to thwart nazi invaders - and never bothered putting them back - it's funny because it's very close to the truth.

    My biggest bugbear is the impossiblity of knowing what streets you're going past. There's almost never a decent sign (by decent I mean US/AU/NZ style 9 foot pole on the corner with reflective fingerboard hanging off it) that can be read at 20mph, let alone 30mph. It's no wonder satnavs are flying off the shelves here.

    Mine's the one with all the maps in it.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Sign 'o' the times

    If this is coming out of D.f.T. then the signs preceding it should probably be "U-Turn likely" and "Caution: Treacherous Conditions"

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "This lane closed to reduce congestion."

    That's one of the more recent signs I've seen. With new signs like that I think we'd be better sticking with the old ones.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    RE: Pothole Ahead

    Haha! Here in Germany you get that sort of signage. You got a stretch of Motorway with lots of Potholes? Stick up a sign saying so, everyone knows the road is a bag of sh1te and they still drive like twunts.

    At least we can drive a fast as we want. Still the wrong side of the road though.

  32. Openminded Cynic
    Alert

    How about...

    ... putting a speed limit sign on the back of or on the same post as speed cameras? Would that not help prevent the oohfuckbugger what's the speed limit breaking maneuver just prior to the cameras?

    Also how about instead of those patronising "Spray Slow Down" electronic signs why not say "Spray: Use Headlights" or "Fog: Use Fog Lights" as some drivers tend to need someone else to make the big decisions such as to when to use which lights for them?

    Or they could just make them show jubs all the time?

  33. Sam

    keyboard alert

    They are going to make us drive on the right eventually.

    They are going to do it gradually, buses and lorries first.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Trust a nu labour pussy

    We have the biggest financial crisis in 300 years, and an idle silly nu labour pussy wants to make the roads prettier. Of course she can't say that taking down signs could make roads safer, as they've been busy plastering roads with spurious signs in the name of safety, and successfully distracting drivers' attention for years. (I example "Slow" painted on the road, which used to indicate to me to drop down a gear - but no longer, since safety enthusiasts started painting ranks of them). And we mustn't forget the scameras, which oblige you anyway to not look at the road as you drive. Hence more nu labour dissembling - and private profit at public expense for some lucky pigopolist of the government's choosing.

    The nu labour way - look as if you're working. When anybody asks, just give them some mouth.

  35. Ralph B
    Go

    Serious Suggestions Please

    1) Speed limit signs should incorporate RFID so that cars' cruise control systems can automatically adjust themselves.

    Actually that's the only change I'd insist on, but while I'm here, I'll deal with some other niggles:

    2) The "Give Way To Oncoming Vehicles" needs a redesign. Are you the red arrow going up, or the black one going down? That the sign always carries sub-titles is proof enough that the meaning is unclear.

    3) As mentioned by another, the "Riding of Pedal Cycles Prohibited" should have a red diagonal stripe. (As indeed should most prohibition signs.)

    4) The "No Vehicles Carrying Explosives" sign should show a vehicle carrying an Apple-style bomb, rather than a bale of hay.

  36. jon
    Thumb Up

    Speed limits?

    How about putting some speed limit signs on motorways? I've lived in this country for seven years and I still don't know what the speed limit is...

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Speed camera signs...

    With the actual permitted speed ACCOMPANYING the camera graphic. Or better yet, scrap the cameras altogether and recycle the components to give everyone in the UK er...a free webcam. This would happily massively reduce roadside distractions and permit sensible[1] motorists to once again concentrate fully on local road conditions, traffic levels and so forth rather than checking the speedo every 5 seconds.

    [1] D'oh.

  38. RW
    Unhappy

    "keep pace with the latest technology"

    And who says there is any new traffic sign technology?

    And who says it's an improvement on existing methods?

    And who says it's even as good as existing methods?

    Reading other comments, I conclude that it's commonsense that's in short supply, not technology.

  39. Reg
    IT Angle

    Lets add QR Codes while we're about it

    If this is really going to happen ...

    Why don't they include QR Codes (the square bar codes - look them up on Wikipedia) on each sign - encoding the signs meaning/contents in a machine readable form. Visible or possibly as an infra-red overlay. This way as our cars become cleverer, they will be able to assist us assimilating all these visual inputs so that we can focus more on not driving over the pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists...

    Or even better - rather than spending any money on new signs at all - rip up the old ones. And simply spend the budget for new signs on distributing GPS based in-car sign systems to all vehicles. It might be cost effective ...? And a sign change will then be available immediately. And of course instant variable speed limits too. Hmmm though "they'd" probably also want to include a big brother aspect too... a.k.a "road pricing"

  40. Colin Millar
    Stop

    It's quite simple really

    All we need is two new signs

    1) Warning - multiple road signs ahead

    2)Warning - the road grafitti artist has recently visited this area with his tin of white paint

  41. Moogal
    Stop

    I know what sort of "updates" we'll get.

    "50" to become "30", "40" to become "20", and "30" to become "must have man with red flag walking in front"

    Sigh.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Try Europe

    Obviously those who complain about the UK signs have never tried driving in France or Italy. The French signage has improved a little over the last 20 years, but they refuse to have an arrow point upwards for "Straight On", instead choosing to have a sign that can't be seen until you've actually passed it! A drive in Italy requires using "The Force" to navigate and generally involves a few collisions.

    I'm not too bothered, just so long as they keep the signs in the proper colours and the distance and speed limits aren't in these fiddly little "keeelommaturs" that seem so popular in Europe.

  43. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Get rid of...

    ...the brown signs identifying 'places of interest' which have spread like wildfire across the country, and the bright-yellow signs pointing to new housing developments which are a new infestation in these parts.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @AC Re: While we're at it

    That's a brilliant idea.

    We can all buy our left-hand drive cars outside rip-off Britain, and we'll save on petrol as you get more kilometres to the litre than you do miles to the litre.

  45. AC
    Paris Hilton

    <no title>

    <no comment>

    just wanted to use the old PH icon as the new one had made baby jeebus cry.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Sister of the cones hotline?

    Fantastic idea. I can just imagine what roadsigns designed under the aegis of this government might look like.

    Something like this I should imagine:

    http://journal.dedasys.com/articles/2008/09/05/what-if-modern-advertisers-created-the-stop-sign

  47. Perpetual Cyclist

    One site that says it all.

    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/pete.meg/wcc/facility-of-the-month/

  48. John H Woods Silver badge
    Alert

    M42?

    What about the hundreds of little signs on the M42 which appear every half mile? What is the point of that?

  49. John
    Stop

    Maybe El-Reg icons could be used

    Some of 'em are road signs already. Stop 'cos no-one's going anywhere.

  50. Andy ORourke
    Joke

    @ Very Simple

    "Very simple - stop the overhead matrix signs saying 'NN minutes to Junction X'. This information is meaningless because X could be 1 or 15 miles away."

    You didn’t read the sign properly, they normally tell you the distance to X as well (in Parenthesis) I always think "oh, its going to take me 15 minutes, bet I can do it in 12"

    I do feel the same way about the messages these signs normally deliver "fog" or "snow". No shit Sherlock, "delays Possible" I'm on the M6 trying to get on the M62 to Manchester at 08:00, again, No shit. Unless they have something like - "To avoid the inevitable delays please follow this sign" then there really isn’t much point telling me there is a queue of traffic, I have been sat here for 20 minutes, I think I have figured out there is a queue all by myself thanks very much.

    As for the M6 (and probably many other) "Sign not in use” sign why not just cover the thing up? It must be cheaper than making and erecting a new sign?

    What happens when the original sign that was not in use comes into use? Do they put a sign on the "Sign not in use" sign to say that that sign is not in use or do they change the sign not in use sign to a sign in use sign?

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Too many signs!

    For anyone who has driven around Croydon where the trams run I can only say that there are too many signs. Myself and many others have been confused by too much information. When you are driving there is a lot to take in and decisions need to be made fast. Trying to fathom some of the layouts and signs in some cities and towns is like trying to pass some kind of IQ test these days.

  52. Sleeping Dragon

    Automated signs

    Gordon Brown should be fitted with GPS so that all road signs can be automatically rotated to point to "Twat" with the distance given in miles.

  53. Martin
    Go

    Be smarter with the existing system.

    Start by phasing traffic lights so that anyone on a major road sticking to the speed limit doesn't have to stop every few hundred yards. Pros: no benefit in speeding; fuel econony improves and CO2 emissions go down (some people believe it makes a difference). Cons: probably won't work in big cities; oh and you'll need another bloody sign to tell people.

    @ Jon: Please tell me your joking - I do sometimes think there are people who don't recognise a national speed limit sign when they see it.

  54. Keith Langmead

    So where is it?

    OK, am I missing something here? Where is the actual consultation? The NDS page doesn't show a link, and neither does the DfT page. Of course I'm assuming there is more to it than what's listed on those two pages, and some way to actually submit feedback on-line rather than having to resort to... *shudder* hard copy!

  55. Martin Silver badge
    Joke

    This is EXACTLY what will happen

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwqPYeTSYng

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Quango?

    Great, this is just the right financial climate to be worrying about road signs, no doubt this 'think tank' will take an age coming to any kind of decision and cost a fortune doing so.

    Before even thinking of changing road signs, there are more important things to take into consideration, like drivers:

    1. Some people pay others to sit the tests for them. A photo licence should be given at both the written and practical stages of the test. Anyone caught impersonating another should get a lifetime driving ban.

    2. Driving while disqualified. Three strikes and your out. Banned for six months? Get caught and it automatically gets increased to ten years. Caught a second time and your banned for life. Caught again and it's a guaranteed custodial sentence.

    3. God awful cheep "Road Wars" type TV programs. Get rid of them in their current state. I don't think that they do anything to promote road safety.

    I think some retards hope that they will get on the TV by acting like these clowns.

    4. Compulsory motorway training for new drivers. I never had this and I was not comfortable when I first went on the motorway. Driving at speed needs concentration and consideration. Even travelling short distances on motorways shows how bad people are, myself included. Now I try to stay in the outside lane and only come out to the middle when I need to and onto the fast lane when the middle lane is too congested.

    5. Another test at 65 years old, followed by another at 70, 75, 77, 80, 82 and every year you continue to drive. Make the tests free at 70. It's a fact of life that as we get older, our reaction times get longer. I'm not for getting old people off the road, but I am for making them safer.

    6. Driver probation, a newly passed driver needs time to adjust to driving without a person sitting next to them in a dual control car. I think they should be restricted to lower performance cars for a while.

    7. Carrying on from 6, they should introduce intermediate and advanced driving courses that offer some gains for drivers. If a newly passed driver passes an intermediate test, they should be able to drive a faster car sooner than they normally would. Over 21 years old and you get a reduction in your road tax or insurance. Advanced drivers of any age get even more reductions.

    8. GPS. Look, GPS is great. But you cannot abdicate all responsibility. Too often people follow them even when the road signs are telling you something different. Use your brain.

    8. At last, road signs. get rid of the national speed limit sign and replace it with 60 and 70 mph signs. The amount of people on the road who have no bloody clue to what the current sign means defies imagination.

    9. Why place signposts right after each other? What is wrong with using the same sign to indicate the speed limit and to tell drivers about that part time bus lane?

    10. There have been a few people that have suggested barcode or rfid additions to signs. I think that they are great, a cheep box that tells you what speed you should be driving at would be great. Of course, it's more trying to cure the symptom rather than the cause. Learn to pay attention to the road, not the other people in the car.

    11. Fu*king mobile phone/gadget users. Look, I'm not a perfect person because I smoke. But I smoke rollups, I roll them before I set out on my journey. I light them only when I am stationary and I only flick the ash or stub them out when I'm sure I can. Rollups go out if you leave them so I don't have to worry about getting burnt. They are far less of a distraction than talking to someone one the phone. Stop it!

    Rant off.

  57. David Pollard

    @John - Maybe El-Reg icons could be used

    Oh noes. I'd be happy if Ms Stob were to be employed to rewrite the Highway Code, or if the Moderatrix were to moonlight proofing governmental press releases. But El Reg's new icons as road signs?

  58. Prof O. Und
    Coat

    Tim Chiverton so nearly got there.....

    I reckon NuLabotomy will hire in a stylist who advises that every sign with a bit of red on it should be bordered on either side with great big b0770cking grey panels, so that the information on the sign is less legible; written in a duff font; and maybe have space for an advertising hoarding.

    They will also have dumbed-down symbols, so every Twoc'ing 11 year-old can recognise them from daytime TV.

    The coat? It does seem familiar, but I fear it's actually made from vinyl, rubbed in vain with a few drops of patchouli oil.

  59. James
    Stop

    Powers?

    You need powers to do this??

    "Consider new powers to reduce street clutter and ensure out-of-date signs are removed"

    That's how the government think at the moment, create a new law! Yea! Woop! Give us power! Woop!

    They don't need power. Just hint to someone on the sly and it will disappear overnight for free! As a souvenir (students) or scrap value. I mean people are already removing man hole covers for us!

  60. A
    Stop

    More new signs?

    Oddly the signs I like the least are the ones that arrived most recently; namely those flashing LED signs warning you about something.

    Usually these wonders are carefully located 2ft away from the hazard (so it's too late to do anything) and on the opposite side of the road (so that your attention is drawn away from the hazard at a critical moment).

    Our local turnips recently planted a flashing speed limit sign of that type right next to a junction outside a school. Result? On two different occasions I nearly rammed other cars that had stopped because I was distracted into looking at the stupid sign, rather than watching the junction I already knew about. Great job at improving road safety there. No really.

    Note to government: If you want to waste money, please could you waste it on filling in the quadrillion potholes that seem to have appeared in the roads here over the past few years? When I was a kid the teachers often made fun of the French for their lousy road maintenance; these days it's a great pleasure to drive in France compared to the UK. Heck even most of the roads in Morocco are better than ours now. You know it's time to worry when a developing African nation is doing a better job of road maintenance than we are...

  61. t1mc

    nice view

    The road signs are a nice colourful distraction whe you're cruising at 55-56 mph behind a couple of lorry racers on a dual carriageway or two lane motorway such as the M18. It can take 3 miles or more for them to overtake!

    And which twat introduced the rule about lorries speed limit 40mph on single carriageways?

    Why can a coach travel at 80mph on a motorway but a lorry can't?

    I drove in France recently and I can tell you that I had all on to keep up with lorries at 120-130kmh, no congestion there!

    There's some extremely funny posts, all true and all hilarious thank you.

  62. CTG
    Flame

    latest technology

    Like the VMS signs that have sprouted every mile of the motorways? Yeah, that'll work.

    Driving up the M6 a while back, I went past a car merrily spouting flames in the hard shoulder. Half a mile later, I came to a VMS that said "CAUTION. FIRE AHEAD"...

  63. michael

    new buzzwords

    "help to cut congestion and emissions"

    put thouse in your sugestion to the goverment and it will be aproved the words c02 footprint will be good as well

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    and the business case is?

    Is there a PID (Project Initiation Document ) for this project? If so, could someone get hold of it?

    A proper PID should include background on present situation, why change is necessary, discussion of the proposed solution including outcomes, estimated budget for the project (in this case the consultation), benefits and disbenefits of any proposed change and estimated costs of implementing any proposals.

    Either there is an intention to radically change all the road signs - tidying up wouldn't need a consultation - or as others have said, the whole thing is a total waste of time... but will probably lead to the change anyway ("we consulted and this is what the public wanted") - unless we are saved by the next election!

  65. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Fog lights!!

    Please no signs that say 'Fog: use Fog Lights'. I'm fed up with being on busy roads with traffic crawling and being blinded by fog lights. If you can see a car behind you turn the bl**dy things off not on and as for the morons that turn them on when it's raining.... Mind you 'Fog: Use headlights' would be more useful.

  66. Mark

    Get the clutter off the pavements

    I have to say the most annoying thing about the stuff for cars is it being scattered all over the pavement. Theres some very busy bits of pavement in Liverpool where you can have 3 or 4 road signs, a traffic light, a lamp post, a parking ticket machine, a sign telling you where the parking ticket machine is, etc all within the space of 20 feet.

    Just legislate that everything must be attached to the damn lamp post or available buildings.

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Go

    @Jon - speed limits

    The 'national limit applies' sign has to be the most useless. Why not just tell me what the flippin limit is instead of a sign that looks the same but means something different depending on location?

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    too many signs? never

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  69. W

    Genius signage

    here - http://homepage.ntlworld.com/pete.meg/wcc/facility-of-the-month/harlow-dismounts.jpg

    Overall, I pretty much agree with consensus here. The signs themselves are immaculately designed (). There are just too many that are badly positioned.

    And if we're looking at road signage, how about looking at speed limits? I'm thinking motorways here...

  70. Pete Randall Silver badge
    Coat

    I can see this happening...

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=xwqPYeTSYng

  71. P. J. Isserlis
    Thumb Up

    A real improvement would be

    to copy the French, who do at least one excellent thing: on traffic lights, add a smaller set at driver's eye-level so that the drivers at the front of the queue are not contorting themselves around the steering wheel to see lights that are so high they are obscured by the car roof.

    And just what would be wrong with keeping some conformity with Continental (we are all in Europe, sad news for those UK wanna-be Americans) in view of the vast numbers of British drivers using cars and motorbikes across the Channel, or for that matter the vast number of Continental tourists driving in UK?

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