Headlines: September 15th, 2008

Local councils, drivers and other road users are being urged to take part in the biggest review of Britain’s road signs for 40 years. The Transport Minister, Rosie Winterton, wants highway authorities, road organisations, pedestrians and cylcists who are keen to have a say in how streets will look in the future, to take part in the consultation.

The review has been launched to try to ensure that traffic signs keep pace with the latest technology, help to reduce congestion and carbon emissions and keep traffic moving without the signs themselves cluttering streets.

It will look at the possibility of authorities being given new powers to reduce street clutter and to ensure out of date signs are removed. It will also consider using new traffic sign technologies that offer new ways of managing traffic flow and at ways to provide better road information, including up-to-date traffic news, so motorists can make choices about their journeys. The review is also designed to show how signs can be effective in making roads safer and to improve road users’ understanding of signs and signals.

Rosie Winterton said road conditions had changed dramatically and signs needed to keep pace with those changes. “It is vital we help motorists, cyclists and pedestrians understand how to use our roads – improving road safety and helping reduce congestion and CO2 without cluttering our streets with unnecessary signs,” she said.

Edmund King, the President of the AA, said clear and relevant road signs could cut congestion, pollution, accidents and frustration for drivers. “Confusing signs do the opposite so we welcome a root and branch review of the UK’s traffic signing system and will seek the views of AA members to help the Department for Transport come up with signs fit for the 21st Century,” he added.