Signage Rethinks

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AndyB
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Re: Signage Rethinks

Post by AndyB » Sat Jan 08, 2022 20:17

jnty wrote:
Fri Jan 07, 2022 15:32
Bomag wrote:
Fri Jan 07, 2022 15:11
danfw194 wrote:
Wed Jan 05, 2022 11:21
And also I too can't understand why people want to readily ditch London, it's absolutely the most important destination in the UK and should be treated as such.
Before the M25 this may be correct but since then (and definitely by the early 90's) its not the most important destination. Where there is a need for signing as a primary destination (M25 area), other primary destinations both in and out of Greater London are nearly always a better way finding options (as well as being the destination of the majority of the traffic). At locations remote from the M25 the use of 'London' reduces the number of primary destinations on an ADS which could improve local way finding.

The use of 'London' is not prohibited, but is used as a widespread alternative to better signing. The examples in this thread show how badly area teams / LHA signing policy has left us. Given the policies of the Mayor it's becoming even less relevant as signed destination for a large percentage of vehicular traffic.
Is the disconnect here that you/signage policymakers do not view "London" and "the M25" as equivalent destinations from outside it? Because if we do view London and the M25 as equivalent destinations from outside London, then nothing changed when the M25 was finished, because the M25 is, in long-term traveller waypoint terms, "London". So is this the key point of contention - that the M25 can't be truly considered to be "London"?

While that might be strictly true, it's surely not practically true for the vast majority of travellers. Plenty of people will know exactly what and where London is and understand the significance of its orbital motorway to their journey without knowing exactly what "(M25)" means whereas the number of people who know they are heading for the M25 but have no idea that heading towards London will get them there has got to be miniscule. Indeed, hard as it us for us to believe, there's probably thousands of people who use the M25 every day without being totally sure what it's called, though every single one of them will know it goes around London.
Oh, beautifully put.

It’s exactly the same as you approach Comber, a small town about seven miles from where I live.

Comber is a primary destination, in fact it is the target primary destination in both directions on its Trunk Road, because nobody in their right mind would use it to travel to end to end unless they needed to get their head showered by driving the long way round.

Comber town centre is on a non-primary road. Its by-pass, formed by part of the A21 and part of the A22, crosses the built up area in two places.

As soon as the A21 reaches the by-pass, the forward destination becomes Belfast and Downpatrick. As soon as the A22 reaches the by-pass, the forward destination becomes Newtownards, Bangor, Killyleagh and Downpatrick. Motorists told to drive to Downpatrick via Comber have the intelligence not to go through the town centre unless they have either business in the town centre or the head staggers.

Every town and city with a by-pass, throughpass or suburban ring road is exactly the same. The signs from the previous towns point to the centre of the conurbation, and through traffic is diverted via the ring road or bypass at the relevant decision point.

Signing policy is already that when you reach the outside of a conurbation, you have arrived. If you’re somewhere in Greater Manchester, do you find signs for Manchester or do you find signs for City centre?

And so it should be for London. Sign London until you reach the M25, being for all practical purposes the perimeter road of the conurbation that is Greater London, and then, just as you would in any other conurbation, sign through traffic away and choose a suitable target primary destination for traffic continuing towards central London.

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Steven
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Re: Signage Rethinks

Post by Steven » Sat Jan 08, 2022 23:02

AndyB wrote:
Sat Jan 08, 2022 20:17
And so it should be for London. Sign London until you reach the M25, being for all practical purposes the perimeter road of the conurbation that is Greater London, and then, just as you would in any other conurbation, sign through traffic away and choose a suitable target primary destination for traffic continuing towards central London.
One thing I will say here is be careful when you use the term "conurbation" when you actually mean "city", as in a single functional entity.

We do have a number of multi-centred conurbations for which this just doesn't work; but it does work for places that function as a single city, like London.
AndyB wrote:
Sat Jan 08, 2022 20:17
Signing policy is already that when you reach the outside of a conurbation, you have arrived. If you’re somewhere in Greater Manchester, do you find signs for Manchester or do you find signs for City centre?
You see signs for "Manchester" across wide parts of the conurbation, as Greater Manchester contains a collection of other towns as well as Manchester itself.

Outside Manchester itself, you'll see signage for "Manchester city centre" or "Manchester (C)" as an unqualified "City centre" is confusing with the presence of the City of Salford just across the River Irwell. This is an example of such signage in Salford.
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Bryn666
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Re: Signage Rethinks

Post by Bryn666 » Sat Jan 08, 2022 23:30

Steven wrote:
Sat Jan 08, 2022 23:02
AndyB wrote:
Sat Jan 08, 2022 20:17
And so it should be for London. Sign London until you reach the M25, being for all practical purposes the perimeter road of the conurbation that is Greater London, and then, just as you would in any other conurbation, sign through traffic away and choose a suitable target primary destination for traffic continuing towards central London.
One thing I will say here is be careful when you use the term "conurbation" when you actually mean "city", as in a single functional entity.

We do have a number of multi-centred conurbations for which this just doesn't work; but it does work for places that function as a single city, like London.
AndyB wrote:
Sat Jan 08, 2022 20:17
Signing policy is already that when you reach the outside of a conurbation, you have arrived. If you’re somewhere in Greater Manchester, do you find signs for Manchester or do you find signs for City centre?
You see signs for "Manchester" across wide parts of the conurbation, as Greater Manchester contains a collection of other towns as well as Manchester itself.

Outside Manchester itself, you'll see signage for "Manchester city centre" or "Manchester (C)" as an unqualified "City centre" is confusing with the presence of the City of Salford just across the River Irwell. This is an example of such signage in Salford.
There are one or two "city centre" signs in Salford that appear to be referring to Salford itself but it's very hard to differentiate. Politically it's two city centres split by the Irwell but to anyone not familiar with the area everything inside the MSIRR gets treated as a single "city centre".
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Re: Signage Rethinks

Post by AndyB » Sat Jan 08, 2022 23:44

Fair enough! Belfast still signs Belfast in Dundonald and definitely signs Belfast in Newtownabbey, but they're outside the City council area.

I suppose the key is what destination is going to be most easily understood by strategic traffic. Given a choice between London, Croydon and the M25, I don't think Croydon or the M25 will cut mustard.

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Re: Signage Rethinks

Post by Bomag » Sun Jan 09, 2022 02:18

Bryn666 wrote:
Sat Jan 08, 2022 19:27
Bomag wrote:
Sat Jan 08, 2022 16:09
For over 20 year, since I was project engineer for LPRS, I have been evangelical in providing illumination to others on the many bad practices in signing strategy, both within and outside the M25. I will tackle any 'Soapy Sam' on this issue.
Yes, but arguing the opposite of everyone else does not automatically make one right, otherwise I would never lose an argument in my life.

None of what you have argued appears to be backed up by any logical evidence based policy making, it is all seemingly based on academic theory which for all I can see is trying to be too clever for its own good. What you are actually arguing for, as demonstrated by the notion that "Birmingham shouldn't be signposted from Preston" is replacing direction signs with hyper-parochial localism which is not what direction signs were ever invented to provide. As someone who usually is quite on board with changes coming out of the DfT and someone who has a huge dislike for rogue sign designers, I personally have no idea what you are trying to achieve.

I can't be alone in saying I do not understand why you find the idea of using the largest conurbations in the UK as long distance targets problematic. If anything, the vague overreliance on named regions that do not correspond with a map of the UK is the bigger problem. At least "London" is a fixed entity, "The SOUTH" could be anywhere from Watford Gap down to Bournemouth and since we don't have a map showing where these regions start and end*, it's all open to interpretation.

I think, instead of hiding behind 20 glorious years of work on a project you have clearly failed to properly communicate to us mere plebs that have to work with the Traffic Signs Manual you might want to rethink why it's gathering so much hostile reaction.

I do not think any of the evidence based policy making we are supposed to do in government circles is being used correctly here at all because it certainly does not resonate with people that actually use the roads?

* I still will do this for free if you actually can't be bothered yourselves down in that there (M25), since saying London is verboten.
So your position is evidence based on UK conditions? To reiterate what I have said - as a primary destination on ADS (which is for destinations up to 40 miles-ish) 'London' is an extraneous option for most of the country. Within the south east it is often an imprecise option which should be the last option, in nearly all cases there is something better ('Central London' being the top of the list for many radial routes). The knowledge (or lack of) of UK geography in the general populations means that signs based on compass points is the option which has been chosen for target destinations. It produces less uncertainty; this partly comes out of the work well over 10 years ago about setting out the use of Super Primary target destinations (including London) for the SRN. Unfortunately the evidence from the testing showed that too many road users didn't know enough UK geography to reliably use super primaries and that compass points led to fewer people getting lost. It is likely that average member of Sabre has a much better knowledge of the location of towns and cities in the UK than average. The use of compass points does not align with the English administrative regions for good reason; they would require changes in target destination in really inconvenient places (also my proposed use of GODS OWN COUNTRY as a replacement for the NORTH /NORTH EAST was controversial). As I mentioned before in this thread the use of SOUTH EAST as a regional destination, possibly in a similar way to the way NORTH /NORTH EAST/ NORTH WEST is used would be a help. This gets back to the a post you seemed to have the vapours on - if you want LONDON/GREATER LONDON/ G LONDON as a regional target - as opposed to inappropriately using the primary destination 'London', either get DfT to change it or get a job there and then change it.

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Re: Signage Rethinks

Post by hemsl » Sun Jan 09, 2022 10:48

Bomag wrote:
Sat Jan 08, 2022 16:09
Sadiq Khan is the CEO of the Greater London Authority; the mayor of London looks to be a bloke called Vincent Keaveny. This just reflects the inconsistent use of 'London' .
For goodness' sake.

The Mayor of London is Sadiq Khan.
https://www.london.gov.uk/people/mayoral/sadiq-khan

The fact we cannot agree on this suggests everyone that is trying to change your opinion on the signing of "London" is wasting their time.

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Re: Signage Rethinks

Post by nowster » Sun Jan 09, 2022 10:55

Bomag wrote:
Sun Jan 09, 2022 02:18
So your position is evidence based on UK conditions? To reiterate what I have said - as a primary destination on ADS (which is for destinations up to 40 miles-ish) 'London' is an extraneous option for most of the country.
Who the heck made up that 40 miles nonsense? Yes, within 40 miles, signing London is less than ideal in certain areas, but beyond it, it's treated like a super-destination by most people.

Hence signing it at Hook Moor, Alconbury, etc.

This smacks of, "We've made up this rule, therefore we must apply this rule universally, even if it doesn't make sense to anyone else."

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Re: Signage Rethinks

Post by jnty » Mon Jan 10, 2022 11:42

Bomag wrote:
Sun Jan 09, 2022 02:18
This gets back to the a post you seemed to have the vapours on - if you want LONDON/GREATER LONDON/ G LONDON as a regional target - as opposed to inappropriately using the primary destination 'London', either get DfT to change it or get a job there and then change it.
What's your personal view here? Would you tolerate "LONDON" if it were (re?)-introduced, but not "London"?

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Re: Signage Rethinks

Post by Bomag » Mon Jan 10, 2022 13:10

jnty wrote:
Mon Jan 10, 2022 11:42
Bomag wrote:
Sun Jan 09, 2022 02:18
This gets back to the a post you seemed to have the vapours on - if you want LONDON/GREATER LONDON/ G LONDON as a regional target - as opposed to inappropriately using the primary destination 'London', either get DfT to change it or get a job there and then change it.
What's your personal view here? Would you tolerate "LONDON" if it were (re?)-introduced, but not "London"?
If you mean if Greater London was a regional destination (i.e. capitalised) as a sub set of the SOUTH - i.e you sign the SOUTH until there is a need to differentiate traffic flows then as long as it's not misused then I not going to second guess DfT. What should be avoided at all cost is to keep using 'London', as a primary destination, in places where there are more relevant primary destinations.

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Re: Signage Rethinks

Post by Bomag » Mon Jan 10, 2022 13:35

nowster wrote:
Sun Jan 09, 2022 10:55
Bomag wrote:
Sun Jan 09, 2022 02:18
So your position is evidence based on UK conditions? To reiterate what I have said - as a primary destination on ADS (which is for destinations up to 40 miles-ish) 'London' is an extraneous option for most of the country.
Who the heck made up that 40 miles nonsense? Yes, within 40 miles, signing London is less than ideal in certain areas, but beyond it, it's treated like a super-destination by most people.

Hence signing it at Hook Moor, Alconbury, etc.

This smacks of, "We've made up this rule, therefore we must apply this rule universally, even if it doesn't make sense to anyone else."
That is the problem, London, is not a target, super primary, or super destination; it's a primary destination. As I mentioned, using cities as super primaries was shown to be less effective than compass points. If done properly Greater London as subset of the SOUTH would be workable and so would SOUTH EAST. Signing at Hook Moor was done to get traffic to use the DBFO M1, the percentage of traffic at that point going into London is less than 1%. Alconbury could have been signed using for x follow y under current guidance. The new (possible temporary) A14 signs on the A1(M) aren't even consistent in terms of order. May be a case for a proper review of regional destinations.

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Re: Signage Rethinks

Post by nowster » Mon Jan 10, 2022 14:20

Bomag wrote:
Mon Jan 10, 2022 13:35
May be a case for a proper review of regional destinations.
Let's just have PARIS and Autres Directions? :lol:

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Re: Signage Rethinks

Post by jnty » Tue Jan 11, 2022 14:43

Bomag wrote:
Mon Jan 10, 2022 13:35
nowster wrote:
Sun Jan 09, 2022 10:55
Bomag wrote:
Sun Jan 09, 2022 02:18
So your position is evidence based on UK conditions? To reiterate what I have said - as a primary destination on ADS (which is for destinations up to 40 miles-ish) 'London' is an extraneous option for most of the country.
Who the heck made up that 40 miles nonsense? Yes, within 40 miles, signing London is less than ideal in certain areas, but beyond it, it's treated like a super-destination by most people.

Hence signing it at Hook Moor, Alconbury, etc.

This smacks of, "We've made up this rule, therefore we must apply this rule universally, even if it doesn't make sense to anyone else."
traffic at that point going into London is less than 1%
What percentage of traffic is aiming to travel via its orbital motorway? Is the implicit assumption here still that 'London' is a useless destination for folk aiming for the M25?

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Re: Signage Rethinks

Post by brombeer » Mon Jan 24, 2022 21:43

Bomag wrote:
Mon Jan 10, 2022 13:35
May be a case for a proper review of regional destinations.
Continental European here, and regional destinations confuse the hell out of me. Worst of all is The LAKES, but how can I explain to anyone the point on the M1 where The SOUTH is no longer signposted and the point on the M4 where The WEST becomes SOUTH WALES, when there is a significant piece of England to come? Oh, and The NORTH actually being the North East of Engerland, not nearly useful on the M1-M6 split let alone in bringing you to the real North ie Scotland if not Inverness or Aberdeen. So proper review - yes please.

But sooner rather than later you run into the fact that pretty much every country worldwide prefers major cities and cardinal directions over the names of regions. With the function of representing the region, not guiding traffic to the middle of town. It’s just incredibly difficult to signpost well on the basis of regions, as it is on the basis of neighboring states. Major cities give much more of an immediate recognition viz. route confirmation to people not familiar with the area in which they drive. If superprimary destinations were thought of as not working out well in England, I would myself have looked for ways to improve without throwing the entire system overboard in favor of regional destinations (where applicable) and never London for lack of a regional destination.

From there two observations:
1. How issues to properly guide traffic within Greater London should prevent signposting London from far outside the M25 is beyond me. By the time you reach the M25, the London is replaced by destinations within London and nobody will be surprised.
2. Does signposting London in addition to the first PD when you’re further out result in signs that are too full? Don’t think so. Unless you have The SOUTH and London, plus a regional destination somewhere in the next 40 miles. In which case I would remove the former for reason set out above. I also think that this gives a better overview of the road ahead than just the first two PDs or one PD and M25.

Now shoot me, folk in Whitehall, for daring to bring a continental perspective.

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