New rules set for ‘out-of-date’ road signs

Councils will be given new powers to remove ‘pointless’ and ‘out-of-date’ road signs that may distract drivers.

The new powers, which will come into place on 22 April, will also include implementing new signs with ‘remove by dates’ to ensure they are not left in place unnecessarily for years.

Councils hold responsibility for signs on their local roads and are expected to save £30 million in running costs by 2020 as a result of the simpler new sign rules. Other savings will see a cut on the number of signs that require lighting, with the exemption of safety signs.

Among other changes, smaller sized signs are now available for those aimed only at walkers and cyclists to avoid cluttering roads needlessly, while road markings may be used where an erected sign is deemed unwarranted.

Si Alan Duncan has been appointed by the Department for Transport to lead a task force examining the signs in a bid to later enforce wider changes.

Discussing the new rules, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “Road signs should only be installed on our roads when they are essential. Our common-sense reforms will help get rid of pointless signs that are an eyesore and distract drivers.

“These new rules will also save £30 million in taxpayers’ cash by 2020, leaving drivers with just the signs they need to travel safely.”