Signs review finally published

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Conekicker
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Re: Signs review finally published

Postby Conekicker » Fri Oct 21, 2011 19:51

Ok, so it's been out for just over a week now and hopefully those Sabristi in the industry have read it by now. What do you make of it? How many are intending to go for the IHE sign certificate? Any local authorities looking to get together for sign design activities, as suggested in the review?
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Signs review finally published

Postby Haydn1971 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 20:35

As I said earlier... I'll await the actual legal stuff and official guidance... There has been talk for a few months now about a reformed West Yorkshire "Engineers" department, but given the rate at which the five authorities are still letting staff retire and leave, it might well be just Bryn and a school leaver left looking after the whole lot !

I'm getting more remote from signs of late, gone are my glory days of 1000 sign schemes, weeks turning out sign schedules, feeding bugs back to Key Systems... Who knows what the future holds, I'm currently the casualty, speed limit, occasional development, odd job geometry and blue sky thinker at Calderdale, mixed in with clearing up the day to day rubbish that no one else has a clue about dealing with. I had a phone call on Tuesday, "Haydn, what can we do to fix Brighouse.... I've a meeting with the department Director and some guys from Kirklees, its a real problem for them linking with Bradford". Tempted with a 250kt nuke gag, I chucked in £10M worth of ideas in a 2 minute discussion and off the caller went to her meeting... That's not uncommon, but nothing ever comes of it !

So, back on signs... Hey, its progress, I remember the upset that Guildford rules brought, what's the DfT (DTER ?) thinking, who can we do that, who's going learn the new stuff first, how can we do that in AutoSign !

Bring it on
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Re: Signs review finally published

Postby Bryn666 » Fri Oct 21, 2011 20:46

Conekicker wrote:Ok, so it's been out for just over a week now and hopefully those Sabristi in the industry have read it by now. What do you make of it? How many are intending to go for the IHE sign certificate? Any local authorities looking to get together for sign design activities, as suggested in the review?


I get to read it in great depth because the Head of Service wants a report on how this report is likely to impact on service delivery!

I suspect it won't, until Calderdale got the RFA grant 2 years ago that facilitated an opening for me, we still had signs dating back to 1975 or so covering most of the borough. Another engineer has motored through the area getting sign replacements done under RFA, but that's all been spent up now.

I suspect the 2014 Regs will take a long time to impact on Calderdale, although I have had interested looks from the line managers about proactive de-cluttering strategies for the major A road corridors. Particularly nonsense like traffic light warning signs where you see the signals before the sign...
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Re: Signs review finally published

Postby boing_uk » Sat Oct 22, 2011 14:47

Well I have had the time to look through the review and there are a number of things I do not like:

1) The Share Space sign.

Shared Space in itself is a complete policy mess in this country, with some doing it well and others failing miserably in fundamentals of the design. Some shared space schemes do not have vehicles moving on the same plane as pedestrians for example, and others have just brought a busy two-way road on to a single plane with the pavements and call it a shared space.

Share Space is written as an instruction - should it be so? Should it be more of an informatory sign in that you are now entering a shared space. Should shared space also carry with it the requirements of a controlled zone so that lines can be dispensed with, or should that still be separate sign?

The only way shared space will be successful in this country is through proper design. Ashford seem to have got it right. Blackpool seems to have got it wrong. But these are just my own opinions for now.

2. The dual unit height restriction signs.

I am a firm believer that the signing of height restrictions in both imperial and metric are a must. But I also believe that they should be signed on separate signs and not combined on to the same sign.

I have very mild dyslexia (very mild) and sometimes misread figures and letters on the lines above/below when skim reading or glancing at a combination of letters and/or numbers. I have glanced at the combined restriction plates before now and read a completely different figure to that which is really on the sign. Usually it doesn't make sense so I read again, but should this kind of situation be happening with such a critical traffic sign as a height restriction?

Should these signs not be absolutely the clearest signs to be seen on the highway? While yes I would generally agree with reducing the amount of sign clutter, the extent of disruption to the highway or rail networks caused by bridge strikes should override this consideration when it comes to making sure a large vehicle doesn't come in to contact with the bridge.

The rest of Europe (and much of the rest of the world) clearly shows heights in metric units - it is the imperial unit which is in the minority. While they have gone some way to dealing with this by having the metric units at the top, its not really good enough.

Yes, by all means have a saving for those areas where only a combined sign can be fitted in due to space considerations - but please separate the metric and imperial units on to separate signs.

3. Motorway Services Signing

Oh dear god. Of all the signs which did not need adjustment, this has to be one of them. By all means allow operator signing at the top of the sign. Give them more room if needs be. But putting operator symbols WITHIN the sign? I'm sorry, but a teacup and knives and forks are also fairly universally recognised as food and drink - we do not need BK and "M" or "C" logos within the sign itself. To me, this change is more about commercial interests than about improving signage for drivers.

4. Revised Tourist Signing

Again, more consideration of commercial interests here rather than purely tourism. The plethora of restaurant signs which are on brown signs is just wrong in my own opinion. A restaurant is not a tourist destination, it is a local commercial service which really doesn't deserve a sign. But then you could say the same about many smaller tourist attractions, but as the policy doesnt really say much on the matter, I will reserve judgement.

5. Revised Parking Signs

Quite a number of changes here, none of which I really disagree with, except some of the pay and display signs, which are already quite complex anyway and I think could be simplified further. Look at Figure 7.4 as an example - it is still rather complicated for your average Mrs Jones.

Unfortunately my work lap top is out of commission at the moment otherwise I would knock up something as an example.

All in all, its been a long time coming and a little bit of a let down. There isn't anything particularly earth-shattering in there and certainly nothing that tells local authorities to do something or not, on the assumption that every local authority has someone in charge that knows what they are doing and are good at doing it.

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Re: Signs review finally published

Postby traffic-light-man » Tue Oct 25, 2011 00:36

The No Entry sign with the place 'Except Cycles' replacing 'Only' signs is interesting, and in my opinion much clearer. It also brings it in line with the much more common 'except buses' typed plates (although correct or not).
Simon :driving:

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Re: Signs review finally published

Postby hughster » Tue Oct 25, 2011 14:42

boing_uk wrote:2. The dual unit height restriction signs.

I am a firm believer that the signing of height restrictions in both imperial and metric are a must. But I also believe that they should be signed on separate signs and not combined on to the same sign.

I have very mild dyslexia (very mild) and sometimes misread figures and letters on the lines above/below when skim reading or glancing at a combination of letters and/or numbers. I have glanced at the combined restriction plates before now and read a completely different figure to that which is really on the sign. Usually it doesn't make sense so I read again, but should this kind of situation be happening with such a critical traffic sign as a height restriction?

Should these signs not be absolutely the clearest signs to be seen on the highway? While yes I would generally agree with reducing the amount of sign clutter, the extent of disruption to the highway or rail networks caused by bridge strikes should override this consideration when it comes to making sure a large vehicle doesn't come in to contact with the bridge.

The rest of Europe (and much of the rest of the world) clearly shows heights in metric units - it is the imperial unit which is in the minority. While they have gone some way to dealing with this by having the metric units at the top, its not really good enough.

Yes, by all means have a saving for those areas where only a combined sign can be fitted in due to space considerations - but please separate the metric and imperial units on to separate signs.


I agree that dual units on height signage isn't the ideal solution as it hinders clarity. However, it's preferable to authorities choosing to fit imperial-only signage due to the costs of having to produce and fit twice as many signs.

Despite the permission of new dual-unit height warning signage in this recent review, there is still no obligation for authorities to use it on new installations or replacements, despite this obligation having been recommended in the consultation leading up to the review. I can only surmise that politics were involved.

As you say, the imperial units are by far in the minority in the world, not to mention in the UK itself for official purposes, so the best long-term solution must be to phase out ft/in and use metres only. The principal obstacle to doing so appears to be that vehicles over 3.66 metres high are required by The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 to display height notices in feet and inches:

10(2) No person shall use or cause or permit to be used on a road a vehicle to which this regulation applies if the overall travelling height exceeds 3.66 m unless there is carried in the vehicle in the manner specified in paragraph (3) a notice clearly indicating in feet and inches and in figures not less than 40 mm tall, the overall travelling height.


Leading to most widely available in-cab indicators for articulated trucks looking like this:

Image

Metric units aren't prohibited, but they're not mandated. If progress is to be made, it seems obvious that updating this regulation to require an additional metric indication is the first place to start.

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Re: Signs review finally published

Postby Conekicker » Tue Oct 25, 2011 17:26

hughster wrote:...The principal obstacle to doing so appears to be that vehicles over 3.66 metres high are required by The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 to display height notices in feet and inches:

10(2) No person shall use or cause or permit to be used on a road a vehicle to which this regulation applies if the overall travelling height exceeds 3.66 m unless there is carried in the vehicle in the manner specified in paragraph (3) a notice clearly indicating in feet and inches and in figures not less than 40 mm tall, the overall travelling height.
So at the same time as the TSRGD gets amended, amend the C&U Regs as well, simple(ish) "...inches and metres (to one decimal place).".
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Re: Signs review finally published

Postby boing_uk » Tue Oct 25, 2011 18:40

hughster wrote:I agree that dual units on height signage isn't the ideal solution as it hinders clarity. However, it's preferable to authorities choosing to fit imperial-only signage due to the costs of having to produce and fit twice as many signs.


I dont buy this argument for the simple reason that the additional plate is mere pence when compared to the delays caused by over-height vehicles and the costs not only to the local authority but also other transport modes.

If using an existing pole you are looking at perhaps £400 tops per pole. If erecting a new sign side by side on an existing structure, maybe looking at £700-£900 excluding TM (another £450ish) assuming an urban situation - and for most authorities with relatively few signed structures it is not going to be that expensive.

At least give the local authority the option of separately signing the metric and imperial units and not just force a single combined sign option.

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Re: Signs review finally published

Postby Conekicker » Tue Oct 25, 2011 21:08

The usual way of dealing with this situation is to permit the existing signs to remain for a few years, giving highway authorities the time to gradually replace them, spreading the financial costs out so they are less noticable.

What tends to happen is no one does anything until the last year/year and a half and then hit the panic button - the old style motorway 1 mile ADS replacement being a prime example. Planned maintenance - durr, wotz dat den? :roll:
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Re: Signs review finally published

Postby hughster » Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:42

boing_uk wrote:At least give the local authority the option of separately signing the metric and imperial units and not just force a single combined sign option.


I'm not sure whether or not the combined sign option will replace the option of fitting two signs in the revised regulations. If the dual-sign option is still permitted, I do personally doubt that authorities would choose to use it over the combined sign due to increased cost, however insignificant. If anything, we'll still see many height limits being signed in imperial only because the regulations will doubtless still allow the metric equivalent to be omitted, thus perpetuating the problem of foreign lorry bridge strikes.

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Re: Signs review finally published

Postby Bryn666 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:09

Given that the old 600mm height restriction sign in imperial only is still in the regs I would just expect by 2014 that it is removed entirely and replaced with the 750mm dual-unit version.

Allow until 2018 to replace all existing single unit imperial signs and viola.
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Re: Signs review finally published

Postby nowster » Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:26

Bryn666 wrote:Allow until 2018 to replace all existing single unit imperial signs and viola.

Are there strings attached? :-)

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Re: Signs review finally published

Postby Bryn666 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:26

Yes, you're banned from using poncy phrases like voila.
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Re: Signs review finally published

Postby Bryn666 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 14:03

Who in the industry got their batch authorised signs email today then?
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Re: Signs review finally published

Postby Conekicker » Wed Oct 26, 2011 22:28

Bryn666 wrote:Who in the industry got their batch authorised signs email today then?
Huh? Not sure what you mean, more details please?
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Re: Signs review finally published

Postby Bomag » Thu Oct 27, 2011 02:26

Conekicker wrote:
Bryn666 wrote:Who in the industry got their batch authorised signs email today then?
Huh? Not sure what you mean, more details please?


I don't know either - it could be a local authority thing.

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Re: Signs review finally published

Postby Bryn666 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 09:22

It must be an LA thing. Mostly regulatory signs and marking changes.

Nothing too exciting but this has to be the most work the DfT has done in years...!
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Re: Signs review finally published

Postby M4Mark » Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:06

Bryn666 wrote:It must be an LA thing. Mostly regulatory signs and marking changes.

Nothing too exciting but this has to be the most work the DfT has done in years...!

:( Rather annoying that DfT have not sent this to those of us on the TAL mailing list or the Signs Review Sounding Board mailing list. Can you forward it to me if I send you a pm with my email address Bryn?

On the subject of the Sign Review, it's not the far reaching review I was expecting, it's certainly not on the same level as 'Worboys' but I am looking forward to what the 2014 (or later given history) TSRGD contains, it would be nice to get the amendment containing 6m signals, ASLs without lead in lanes etc before the end of the year.

I've looked at the Sign Certificate before and I'm certainly interested in it.
Last edited by M4Mark on Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:17, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Signs review finally published

Postby Bryn666 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:14

Certainly - my copy was cascaded down from the 'upper floor' anyway.

I too am on the TAL mailing list you see.
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Re: Signs review finally published

Postby Haydn1971 » Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:32

For Conekicker and Bomag...
Attachments
Area-wide Authorisation and Special Direction Guidance Note.doc
(95 KiB) Downloaded 81 times
Case 2669 Traffic Signs Policy Review Authorisation.pdf
(6.57 MiB) Downloaded 72 times
Case 2826 Traffic Signs Policy Review Special Direction.pdf
(87.17 KiB) Downloaded 58 times
Regards, Haydn

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