Government pledge to tackle road signs

The Government have pledged to remove unnecessary traffic signs and restore common sense to road safety.

Ministers warned that useless signs waste money and put drivers in danger.

In a document issued by the Department for Transport, proposals have been made that some temporary signs are given a remove-by date, but helpful signs are to be made clearly visible on unlit roads.

A taskforce led by senior Tory MP Sir Alan Duncan will suggest more ways of reducing roadside clutter and consider whether some signs can be removed altogether.

It will also look at how the culture within local authorities can be changed to reduce signs and consider the issue of unnecessary warnings or instructions.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said, ‘Useless traffic signs blight our landscape, waste taxpayers’ cash and can be a dangerous distraction to drivers.’

‘We are restoring common sense to Britain’s roads while ensuring drivers have the information they need to get about safely. We have already made much progress but Sir Alan Duncan’s new taskforce is an important step towards striking the right balance.’

Research carried out by the DfT in 2013 showed that the number of traffic signs has doubled in the past two decades.

Sir Alan said, ‘The UK has erected thousands of road signs which are completely unnecessary, such as traffic light warning signs when you can see the lights themselves.’

‘We are going to look at how we might get rid of whole categories of unnecessary signs and improve the look of our roads and streets.’

The transport department said it has already relaxed the requirements for the design and location of some signs, and published advice to help local authorities remove clutter from roads.

Sir Alan’s taskforce will present its recommendations to the Government by December.