Road signage is not fit for purpose

By | Category: Travel rumblings
a barely visible sign on the A40

a barely visible sign on the A40…

We have had some glorious weather over the last few days. And that has meant more of us have taken to the roads to visit attractions, the beaches, our national parks and the countryside. But it is becoming increasingly difficult to know you are on the right road.


Not because your satnav tells you but because road signs are obscured. Councils and the Highways Agency up and down our countries have been failing to keep road signs clear and visible.  Grasses, bushes and trees obscure signs as well as dirt caused by nobody cleaning them. Is this all to save money? Is it incompetence or a shortage of staff?

Driving through the Cotswolds both Gloucestershire and Oxford County Councils it was plain that neither council was keeping its signs clear from foliage on “A” roads let alone “B” ones.

Suffolk County Council says, on its website, that “Signs are inspected as part of safety inspection and in response to reports from the public.  Work will be undertaken to keep signs legible and to repair sins that have been damaged and become unsafe.  Priority will be given to mandatory and waring signs on higher category high speed roads.” Apart from the fact that the council will repair “sins” and deal with the horrible spectre of “waring” signs, their proof reading seems as sloppy as the road signage inspections!

...and another.

…and another.

Frankly, I couldn’t care what the excuse is as road signs should be clearly visible. As it stands, in many of our regions, the signage is unfit for purpose. Speed limit signs are obscured as well as directional ones. What happens? People slow down as they have difficulty in seeing the whole sign causing traffic to bunch up. Some you see drive hesitatingly being unsure of which turn to make.

You can claim in the case of road traffic offences that the signs were unable to be seen and sympathetic adjudicators might let you off.  No-one is going to refund some petrol because you went miles out-of-your-way because you missed your turning!


If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Tags: ,