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Britain's most pointless traffic signs to be removed

By raccars Published

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Apparently, Britain is suffering under an avalanche of meaningless and unnecessary road signs that are cluttering up the roadside. Fortunately Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, is on the case, calling for their removal and claiming they are confusing drivers and adding danger to British roads.

While some of the supposedly pointless road signs are duplicates or state the obvious, others are simply inexplicable - a sign saying 'sign not in use,' anyone? Over the past 20 years the number of road signs in Britain has more than doubled. At 4.5 million signs in total, that's one for every seven cars on the road.

Patrick McLoughlin is suggesting local authorities implement a cull on lower profile signs advising motorists about restrictions on loading, speed limits, humps and clearways, if they state the obvious and are distracting. Last year a survey was conducted revealing that a third of drivers have a crash or a near miss thanks to road sign issues. This led the Department for Transport to concede that about 9,000 road signs should be revised as they are misleading or altogether redundant. The same survey showed that the majority of drivers were unclear on the meaning of many road signs.

In particular clearway signs, yellow and black signs indicating no stopping at certain times, left 83% of survey participants baffled. The number of clearway signs on roads has soared in the past two decades, from 3,444 to 110,000. The red and blue circular symbol to indicate no waiting is allowed left 70% of survey respondents confused, while 50% of drivers did not understand the signs indicating the correct lanes to take for an upcoming junction.

The Department for Transport is laying blame for the road sign frenzy at the door of overzealous local authorities. The Department took action last year by issuing guidance on the subject but is now considering the implementation of a central regulatory system. Drivers are being consulted on the need for repeating speed limit signs or those that duplicate information already adequately conveyed by road markings.

Figures have been released showing that the number of speed bump signs has increased by an astonishing 2,000% over 20 years. Fewer than 5,000 of these were in place in 1993, which now number almost 100,000. Priority restrictions have jumped to 23,000 from 1,572 and at 442,000 presently, the number of speed limit signs has doubled from 225,000 20 years ago.

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