Thousands of road signs could be axed after Government report claims most are unnecessary


According to a government report most road signs spotted on the side of the road up and down the country are ‘pointless’ and need scrapping.

A review conducted by the Department for Transport (DfT) found that the number of road signs have doubled over the past twenty years to 4.3 million and most of them contain outdated messages which can lead to confusion for motorists as well as cluttering up our streets.

The report apparently said that the overuse of ‘pointless’ signs has ‘become so widespread that it is verging on national humiliation.’

The report suggests that all sign categories should be checked and many of them axed – recommending that nine in 10 should be removed.

Roads signs that warn drivers of upcoming traffic lights, no stopping signs and brown tourist signs are some of the ones facing the chop.

Thousands of road signs could be axed after Government report claims most are unnecessary

‘Pointless’ road signs facing the chop © Copyright Philip Halling and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


Experts also suggest that signs warning drivers of upcoming speed cameras should also be axed and replaced with an online database that informs motorists of their position.

According to the report, many signs are ‘entirely superfluous’ or assume an ‘insulting degree of stupidity on the part of drivers.’

New guidelines concerning road signs is being prepared by the DfT and recommends that councils create a series of ‘golden rules’ which includes ensuring that most signs are no higher than 2.1 metres and any backed with reflective materials should no longer be illuminated by their own spotlight.

The report also added that road markings should be used rather than signs in cases where this was possible.

In 2015, the DfT created the Road Signs Task Force and is responsible for the review.

The DfT have confirmed that an update to its traffic signs manual is being prepared following the report which found the total number of signs currently in use to be ‘unsustainable.’

“Nobody likes clutter, which is why we want to reduce the number of unnecessary traffic signs being used,” said a spokesman from the DfT.


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