Old Concrete Signs Spikes

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jabbaboy
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Old Concrete Signs Spikes

Post by jabbaboy » Wed Aug 04, 2021 20:08

It's something that's had me curious so thought I'd ask. What's the purpose of the large spikes on older concrete signs such as seen here - https://goo.gl/maps/WDGWeqE4MRaDnHGc7

They seem a rather bit dangerous especially the ones on the embankment which would go straight through the windscreen if you hit it at the wrong angle. They also seem rather dangerous if a motorbike hit them.

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jervi
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Re: Old Concrete Signs Spikes

Post by jervi » Wed Aug 04, 2021 20:27

I'd make a guess at them being used to hold lights to illuminate the sign.
Although as you say leaving them like this is a potential hazard for penetrating any vehicles leaving the carriageway. The VRS is present (although old), which should stop most vehicles from leaving the carriageway.

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Re: Old Concrete Signs Spikes

Post by Chris5156 » Thu Aug 05, 2021 00:00

jabbaboy wrote:
Wed Aug 04, 2021 20:08
It's something that's had me curious so thought I'd ask. What's the purpose of the large spikes on older concrete signs such as seen here - https://goo.gl/maps/WDGWeqE4MRaDnHGc7
They used to hold floodlights to illuminate the sign face.
They seem a rather bit dangerous especially the ones on the embankment which would go straight through the windscreen if you hit it at the wrong angle. They also seem rather dangerous if a motorbike hit them.
They're incredibly dangerous which is why they're no longer used, and any existing ones should be protected by a barrier if they haven't been removed. Most were taken down years ago. They used to be nicknamed the "prongs of death".

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Re: Old Concrete Signs Spikes

Post by jabbaboy » Thu Aug 05, 2021 10:21

Thanks guys, not what I was expecting but certainly makes sense thinking about it (thought it was some form of early impact damage for the sign to stop it toppling on top of vehicles).

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Re: Old Concrete Signs Spikes

Post by Bryn666 » Thu Aug 05, 2021 14:31

Already beaten to the post to reply, but yes, they're lighting supports.

https://i2-prod.coventrytelegraph.net/i ... 463509.jpg you can see them here, but weirdly not every junction had them: https://www.classicandsportscar.com/sit ... ways_5.png
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Re: Old Concrete Signs Spikes

Post by Conekicker » Thu Aug 05, 2021 17:53

Bryn666 wrote:
Thu Aug 05, 2021 14:31
Already beaten to the post to reply, but yes, they're lighting supports.

https://i2-prod.coventrytelegraph.net/i ... 463509.jpg you can see them here, but weirdly not every junction had them: https://www.classicandsportscar.com/sit ... ways_5.png
Not just on motorways, occasionally unclassified roads had (have!) them:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.60428 ... 6656?hl=en
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Re: Old Concrete Signs Spikes

Post by Isleworth1961 » Thu Aug 05, 2021 18:00

Conekicker wrote:
Thu Aug 05, 2021 17:53
Bryn666 wrote:
Thu Aug 05, 2021 14:31
Already beaten to the post to reply, but yes, they're lighting supports.

https://i2-prod.coventrytelegraph.net/i ... 463509.jpg you can see them here, but weirdly not every junction had them: https://www.classicandsportscar.com/sit ... ways_5.png
Not just on motorways, occasionally unclassified roads had (have!) them:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.60428 ... 6656?hl=en
My god, how ugly is that bit of overkill? :shock:

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Re: Old Concrete Signs Spikes

Post by Conekicker » Thu Aug 05, 2021 18:47

Isleworth1961 wrote:
Thu Aug 05, 2021 18:00
Conekicker wrote:
Thu Aug 05, 2021 17:53
Bryn666 wrote:
Thu Aug 05, 2021 14:31
Already beaten to the post to reply, but yes, they're lighting supports.

https://i2-prod.coventrytelegraph.net/i ... 463509.jpg you can see them here, but weirdly not every junction had them: https://www.classicandsportscar.com/sit ... ways_5.png
Not just on motorways, occasionally unclassified roads had (have!) them:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.60428 ... 6656?hl=en
My god, how ugly is that bit of overkill? :shock:
It might look a bit nicer if it had ever had any maintenance throughout it's life. Which clearly it never has. But that's Wakefield for you...
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Re: Old Concrete Signs Spikes

Post by A42_Sparks » Thu Aug 05, 2021 19:24

It was such a dangerous design it's amazing they were ever approved, there were accidents were the victims would have survived had the death prongs not been there.

Perhaps they were created to save money by housing the sign and the lights all in one fixture? On my local motorway they had a much safer design installed by 1972 with lights on metal posts separate from the sign's concrete legs. Thses are in still in place today although they no longer light up.

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Re: Old Concrete Signs Spikes

Post by Isleworth1961 » Thu Aug 05, 2021 19:52

Conekicker wrote:
Thu Aug 05, 2021 18:47
Isleworth1961 wrote:
Thu Aug 05, 2021 18:00
Conekicker wrote:
Thu Aug 05, 2021 17:53
Not just on motorways, occasionally unclassified roads had (have!) them:

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@53.60428 ... 6656?hl=en
My god, how ugly is that bit of overkill? :shock:
It might look a bit nicer if it had ever had any maintenance throughout it's life. Which clearly it never has. But that's Wakefield for you...
Makes me wonder why such massive posts were needed for a sign on a minor road. The posts were clearly designed for a much larger sign anyway.
Last edited by Isleworth1961 on Thu Aug 05, 2021 19:56, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Old Concrete Signs Spikes

Post by Bryn666 » Thu Aug 05, 2021 19:55

A42_Sparks wrote:
Thu Aug 05, 2021 19:24
It was such a dangerous design it's amazing they were ever approved, there were accidents were the victims would have survived had the death prongs not been there.

Perhaps they were created to save money by housing the sign and the lights all in one fixture? On my local motorway they had a much safer design installed by 1972 with lights on metal posts separate from the sign's concrete legs. Thses are in still in place today although they no longer light up.
NI also has this big boy: https://goo.gl/maps/4riem6KjckcxHnkMA
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Re: Old Concrete Signs Spikes

Post by Isleworth1961 » Thu Aug 05, 2021 19:58

Bryn666 wrote:
Thu Aug 05, 2021 19:55
A42_Sparks wrote:
Thu Aug 05, 2021 19:24
It was such a dangerous design it's amazing they were ever approved, there were accidents were the victims would have survived had the death prongs not been there.

Perhaps they were created to save money by housing the sign and the lights all in one fixture? On my local motorway they had a much safer design installed by 1972 with lights on metal posts separate from the sign's concrete legs. Thses are in still in place today although they no longer light up.
NI also has this big boy: https://goo.gl/maps/4riem6KjckcxHnkMA
That's much better, you just have the lights crash down onto you after you've driven into the posts...

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Re: Old Concrete Signs Spikes

Post by Conekicker » Thu Aug 05, 2021 20:25

Isleworth1961 wrote:
Thu Aug 05, 2021 19:52
Conekicker wrote:
Thu Aug 05, 2021 18:47
Isleworth1961 wrote:
Thu Aug 05, 2021 18:00


My god, how ugly is that bit of overkill? :shock:
It might look a bit nicer if it had ever had any maintenance throughout it's life. Which clearly it never has. But that's Wakefield for you...
Makes me wonder why such massive posts were needed for a sign on a minor road. The posts were clearly designed for a much larger sign anyway.
They were standard posts used for directional signs as part of motorway schemes, so this sign will have been part of the original signing when that bit of the M1 was built all those decades ago.

Attached is a PDF of a very old Standard Detail for this type of post, copied as I very vaguely recall, from an ancient West Riding drawing.
1200_04.pdf
(36.38 KiB) Downloaded 41 times
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Re: Old Concrete Signs Spikes

Post by c2R » Thu Aug 05, 2021 20:59

A42_Sparks wrote:
Thu Aug 05, 2021 19:24
It was such a dangerous design it's amazing they were ever approved, there were accidents were the victims would have survived had the death prongs not been there.

Perhaps they were created to save money by housing the sign and the lights all in one fixture? On my local motorway they had a much safer design installed by 1972 with lights on metal posts separate from the sign's concrete legs. Thses are in still in place today although they no longer light up.
It's also easier to maintain the lights if they're at the sort of height someone can get to without the need for a cherry picker
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Re: Old Concrete Signs Spikes

Post by Conekicker » Thu Aug 05, 2021 21:18

A42_Sparks wrote:
Thu Aug 05, 2021 19:24
It was such a dangerous design it's amazing they were ever approved, there were accidents were the victims would have survived had the death prongs not been there.

Perhaps they were created to save money by housing the sign and the lights all in one fixture? On my local motorway they had a much safer design installed by 1972 with lights on metal posts separate from the sign's concrete legs. Thses are in still in place today although they no longer light up.
Not all that much safer. The light posts in the photo are not what would be classed as passively safe these days, so hitting them would probably result in injury. Plus if you hit the light posts, there'd be a very high chance you'd carry on into the very unforgiving reinforced concrete posts only a short distance further on.
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Re: Old Concrete Signs Spikes

Post by A42_Sparks » Thu Aug 05, 2021 22:50

Bryn666 wrote:
Thu Aug 05, 2021 19:55
NI also has this big boy: https://goo.gl/maps/4riem6KjckcxHnkMA
Good grief. That was one of the earliest M1 sections (1964) and those look like they haven't been touched since.

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Re: Old Concrete Signs Spikes

Post by A42_Sparks » Thu Aug 05, 2021 23:01

Conekicker wrote:
Thu Aug 05, 2021 21:18
Not all that much safer. The light posts in the photo are not what would be classed as passively safe these days, so hitting them would probably result in injury. Plus if you hit the light posts, there'd be a very high chance you'd carry on into the very unforgiving reinforced concrete posts only a short distance further on.
Yes good point, I probably should have said a slightly safer design.

Many of the original concrete sign supports on this section are still in use including this magnificent specimen on the A42.

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Re: Old Concrete Signs Spikes

Post by Conekicker » Fri Aug 06, 2021 07:46

A42_Sparks wrote:
Thu Aug 05, 2021 23:01
Conekicker wrote:
Thu Aug 05, 2021 21:18
Not all that much safer. The light posts in the photo are not what would be classed as passively safe these days, so hitting them would probably result in injury. Plus if you hit the light posts, there'd be a very high chance you'd carry on into the very unforgiving reinforced concrete posts only a short distance further on.
Yes good point, I probably should have said a slightly safer design.

Many of the original concrete sign supports on this section are still in use including this magnificent specimen on the A42.
Is there a specific document that details directional signing in NI, given they aren't covered the NI regs and many of the signs you can see on Streetview don't fully conform to TSM7? The one you linked to, for example is missing the chopsticks.
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Re: Old Concrete Signs Spikes

Post by A42_Sparks » Fri Aug 06, 2021 13:22

Conekicker wrote:
Fri Aug 06, 2021 07:46
Is there a specific document that details directional signing in NI, given they aren't covered the NI regs and many of the signs you can see on Streetview don't fully conform to TSM7? The one you linked to, for example is missing the chopsticks.
As far as I know we don't have a NI-specific signing document, AndyB or nirs might know better.

Signs not conforming to TSM7 is par for the course here. The one I linked to is a replacement for the original sign which had 'M2' in the incorrect Motorway font.

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Re: Old Concrete Signs Spikes

Post by SteelCamel » Fri Aug 06, 2021 20:43

Chris5156 wrote:
Thu Aug 05, 2021 00:00
They're incredibly dangerous which is why they're no longer used, and any existing ones should be protected by a barrier if they haven't been removed. Most were taken down years ago. They used to be nicknamed the "prongs of death".
I have to wonder why the ones in the initial post haven't been removed. The "spikes" are clearly separate units - they seem to have slipped down from their original positions judging from the marks on the concrete posts. Even if the bolts are rusted, I can't imagine it taking too long to cut them.

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