|Types of Sign|
|Pictures related to Signage|
View gallery (52)
Traffic signage in the United Kingdom is a general term better defined by the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 as the provision of:
any object or device (whether fixed or portable) for conveying, to traffic on roads or any specified class of traffic, warnings, information, requirements, restrictions or prohibitions of any description –
- (a) specified by regulations made by the Ministers acting jointly, or
- (b) authorised by the Secretary of State,
and any line or mark on a road for so conveying such warnings, information, requirements, restrictions or prohibitions
which, in simple terms, means anything that has either been prescribed by the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions or been specially authorised by the Secretary of State for Transport (in reality by civil servants acting on behalf of the Secretary of State).
The current system of traffic signs was introduced in 1964 following the publication of the Worboys report, although experiments on motorways were carried out and detailed earlier by the Anderson report in 1962. Over the following fifty years, signs were developed and altered to reflect modern traffic needs, leading up to the publication of Signing the Way in 2011, a document that aims to map out the future of traffic signs for the next fifty years.
The current version of the TSRGD came into force in 2016, with a major change to the written format and combined numerous existing regulations into it. At the same time the Traffic Signs Manual was re-written to match the new regulations.
Republic of Ireland
In the Republic of Ireland the use of traffic signs is governed by the Traffic Signs Manual although the Road Traffic (Signs) Regulations 1997 prescribe warning and regulatory signs. The current system of signing was introduced in 1956, and is unique in Europe owing to the use of yellow diamonds – rather than the conventional European triangle – to warn road users of hazards. The Irish signing system is mostly based upon that of the United Kingdom; however, there are some notable differences.
Most signs found in the British Isles are either wholly or partially in English.
- In England, all signs are in English-only, with limited exceptions such as some bilingual English / Cornish signs in Cornwall or English / Chinese in London's Chinatown, such as Gerrard Street.
- In Wales, all signs are bilingual, and placed in order of priority depending on local language use. For example, signs in Chepstow display English then Welsh, while those in Pwllheli display Welsh then English. Since 2016, government policy has been to put Welsh first on all new signs. In some cases, places in England are given with Welsh equivalents eg: "Henffordd / Hereford" on the A438 which becomes simply "Hereford" on crossing the border.
- In Scotland, bilingual English / Gaelic signs were first introduced on trunk roads such as the A82 in 2002 and is becoming more prominent in the Scottish Highlands.
- In Northern Ireland, all signs are in English-only.
- In the Republic of Ireland, most signs are in Irish in italics, followed by English in capitals. The exceptions are when the Irish and English are identical, such as Port Laoise, and in the Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) areas, which are predominantly Irish-only with a few exceptions such as Dingle. The Gaeltacht is the only place in the British Isles where English is not required to be displayed. Places in Northern Ireland are signed bilingually, eg: Béal Feirste / BELFAST and Doire / DERRY.
- On the Isle of Man, a few signs are bilingual English / Manx.
Types of Signage
A Regulatory Sign is a sign instructing you that you must or must not do something.
An Information Sign is a sign used to convey information to a driver
A Warning Sign is designed to warn of a danger or hazard ahead.