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Rationalising Road and Street Signs, and Traffic Lights

Comment 5th July 2010

Ove recent years, the number and size of road and street signs has mushroomed to the point where we are now presented with a visual blitz of messages all competing for our attention.

Most of them are there for ostensibly safety reasons, but the sheer number means that the really important messages get lost in a visual mess of competing signs.

This mess of signage also greatly degrades the appearnce of many of our towns.

We need to revise whatever regulations or standards govern the placement of signs, and start to eliminate those signs which add little value, leaving only that that are vital for safety or direction-giving.

For example, at a large roundabout near me, at the junction of the A10 and the A14, for each stram of traffic joining the roundabout there are an amazing SIX sets of IDENTICAL lights – two sets on different levels on eacvh of three poles; one on each side of the road, and one on the roundabout! A single set on the roundabout is quite sufficient.

Why does this matter?

It will increase safety by removing unimportant distractions. Studies have shown that increased sighnage actually makes junctions less safe.

It will make motorists concentrate more

It will save millions of pounds

It will reduce waste (on unnecessary signs)

It will improve the visual quality of our towns and cities


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