Star.pngStar.pngStar grey.pngStar grey.pngStar grey.png


From Roader's Digest: The SABRE Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Types of Sign.png
Types of Sign
Cameraicon.png Pictures related to Signage
View gallery (52)

United Kingdom

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.

Signage Design

Main Article: Traffic Sign Design

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.


Main Article: Bilingual signs

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

Regulatory Signs

A Regulatory Sign is a sign instructing you that you must or must not do something.

Main Article: Regulatory Sign

Information Signs

An Information Sign is a sign used to convey information to a driver

Main Article: Information Sign

Warning Signs

A Warning Sign is designed to warn of a danger or hazard ahead.

Main Article: Warning Sign

Accident Black Spot • Administrative area • Anderson report • Bilingual signs • Chopsticks • Defunct Traffic Signs • Direction Sign • Driver Location Signs • Emergency Refuge Areas • Emergency roadside telephone • Flood Gates • Gaeltacht • Information Sign • List of Information Signs in TSM (Ireland) • List of Information Signs in TSRGD • List of Regulatory Signs in TSM (Ireland) • List of Regulatory Signs in TSRGD • List of Street Furniture Manufacturers • List of Warning Signs in TSM (Ireland) • List of Warning Signs in TSRGD • Local Direction Sign • LTN 1/94 • Motoring organisation telephone • Motorway alphabet • National speed limit • Pre-Worboys • Primary Destinations • Raised Pavement Markers • Ramp Metering • Regulatory Sign • Report of the Departmental Committee on Traffic Signs 1944 • Road Markings/Signs • Road Studs • Route Confirmation Sign • Safety Cameras • Smart Motorway • Snow Gates • Snow Warning Sign • Speed Limit • Speed Limit Sign • Speed Limit Sign/20 mph • Speed Limit Sign/30 mph • Traffic Sign Design • Traffic Sign Design/Materials • Traffic Sign Design/Overview • Traffic Sign Design/Road Markings • Traffic Sign Design/Signing Strategy • Traffic Sign Design/Support Structures • Traffic Signs Manual • Transport alphabet • TSM (Ireland) • TSRGD and TSM • Variable Message Sign • Variable Speed Limit • Vehicle activated signs • Warning Sign • Warning Sign/Advance Warning of Wig-wag Signals • Warning Sign/Level Crossing With Gates or Barriers • Warning Sign/Open Level Crossing • Warning Sign/Overhead Electric Cable • Warning Sign/Plates • Warning Sign/Risk of Grounding • Warning Sign/Trams Crossing • Warning Sign/Tunnel Ahead • Worboys report • Yst. Ddiw
Related Pictures
View gallery (52)
Direction sign near Dunfanaghy - Geograph - 4427457.jpgLayby and viewpoint on the N86 - Geograph - 4669526.jpgRedditch McDonalds Roundabout.jpgIMG 8920.JPG Wolverhampton A449 Signage.jpgWinterborne Stickland- downhill from Normandy Lodge - Geograph - 5710885.jpg
Traffic Signs
TypesInformation (UK TSRGD) • (IRL TSM) • Regulatory (UK TSRGD) • (IRL TSM) • Warning (UK TSRGD) • (IRL TSM)
UKAnderson report • Worboys report • Traffic Sign Design • TSRGD and TSM (Motorway alphabet • Transport alphabet) • Guildford Rules
IrelandTraffic Signs Manual • Gaeltacht Signage
MiscellaneousBilingual signs • List of Street Furniture Manufacturers
Road Basics
Physical layoutSingle track • Single carriageway • Dual carriageway • High Quality Dual Carriageway • Road Widths • Urban Streets • Abandoned Road
Legal typesAll-purpose Road • Special Road • Motorway • Trunk road • Principal road • Classified Numbered road • Classified Unnumbered Road • Unclassified road • Primary Route • Non Primary Route • Right of Way • Unadopted road
Road numbers1922 Road Lists • Classification • Defunct road • Euroroutes • MoT Maps • National Cycle Network • Numbering principles • Numbering anomalies • Disputed Numbers • Recycled number • Unallocated numbers • Fictional Road Numbers • Junction numbers • Essential Traffic Routes
Road FeaturesArterial Road • Automatic Bollard • Balancing Pond • Belisha Beacon • Bott's Dots • Bypass • Cannon • Cats' Eyes • Cattle Grid • CD Lanes • Central Reservation • Chopsticks • Crash Barrier • Cuttings and Embankments • Cycle Lane • Emergency Phone • Escape lane • Expressway • Fingerpost • Flare • Ford • Gore • Green Bridge • Green Wave • Hairpin bend • Hard shoulder • Island • Junction • Layby • Level Crossing • Local Access Road • Managed Motorways • Milestone • Multi Lane Drop • Multiplex • No-Car Lane • Nose • Oxbow Road • Parapet • Petrol station • Play Street • Raised Pavement Markers • Ramp Metering • Retaining Wall • Road Studs • Roadside Art • Roadside Quarry • Roadworks • Secret motorway • Signage • Smart Motorway • Snow pole • Speed Limit • Spur • Street Lighting • Surface Dressing • Temporary terminus • Throughpass • Tidal Flow • Tiger tail • Toll booth • Traffic cone • Traffic Signals • Tunnel • Vehicle Recovery • Walking and Cycling Friendly Road • Weaving • Wig-Wag Signals • Winter Maintenance • Zip merge
Traffic CalmingBuild-Outs • Chicane • Dragon's Teeth • Home Zone • Low Traffic Neighbourhood • Pinch Point • Quiet Lane • Rumble strips • Safety Cameras • Sleeping Policeman • Speed bump
Public Transport FeaturesBus Lane • Bus stop • Guided Busway • Park and Ride • Tramway • Trolleybus System
Other termsAnderson report • Guildford Rules • Highway Authority • Highway Code • Model Traffic Area • Motorway alphabet • Pre-Worboys • Primary Destinations • Roads by 10 • Transport alphabet • Worboys report

SABRE - The Society for All British and Irish Road Enthusiasts
Discuss - Digest - Discover - Help