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Traffic Signs Manual

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Traffic Signs Manual
Traffic Signs Manual Chapter 1 Cover
The front cover of the first chapter for the Traffic Signs Manual.
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See Also: TSRGD and TSM

The Department for Transport's Traffic Signs Manual (known by some as the TSM) is a guide for local authorities and road sign manufactures that helps standardise the design, building and materials of road signs.[1] It is split into 8 chapters, as described below.


The full manual consists of 8 chapters (technically 10 as chapter 8 is split into 3 parts) for clarity, with each chapter describing a different topic from the other.

  • Chapter 1 Introduction
  • Chapter 2 Directional Informatory Signs on Motorways and All-Purpose Roads (not yet published)
  • Chapter 3 Regulatory Signs
  • Chapter 4 Warning Signs
  • Chapter 5 Road Markings
  • Chapter 6 Traffic Signals
  • Chapter 7 The Design of Traffic Signs
  • Chapter 8 Traffic Safety Measures and Signs for Road Works and Temporary Situations



The original Traffic Signs Manual featured a green hard cover and was designed so that new pages could be inserted and redundant ones removed. The Manual was never completed and sections remained unfulfilled.

This format proved to be unwieldy and was replaced with separate volumes starting in 1977, which also dealt with the issues presented by metricating all dimensions.


The Traffic Signs Manual is formed from eight separate books or chapters. These chapters give guidance on the correct use of signs in accordance with TSRGD and other aspects of law related to the use of signs and the directions that they give to both motorised and non-motorised road users.

Three different eras of the Traffic Signs Manual. This example of Chapter 5 is a printed copy direct from the DfT website.

Most parts of the Traffic Signs Manual now relate to the current legislation as of 2019.



Traffic Signs Manual
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Traffic Signs Manual Chapter 1 CoverFile:MT736 reproduction.pdfFile:MT 801 part 2.pdfFile:MT 801 part 3.pdfFile:MT 801 part 4.pdf
 • Warning Sign  • Information Sign  • Regulatory Sign  • Direction Sign  • Chopsticks  • Driver Location Signs  • National speed limit  • Pre-Worboys  • Route Confirmation Sign  • Snow Warning Sign  • Vehicle activated signs  • Smart Motorway  • Defunct Traffic Signs  • LTN 1/94  • Motorway alphabet  • Primary Destinations  • Safety Cameras  • Traffic Sign Design  • Traffic Sign Design/Overview  • Traffic Sign Design/Materials  • Traffic Sign Design/Signing Strategy  • Transport alphabet  • Variable Speed Limit  • Traffic Sign Design/Support Structures  • Traffic Sign Design/Road Markings  • Speed Limit  • Raised Pavement Markers  • Accident Black Spot  • Variable Message Sign  • Emergency roadside telephone  • Motoring organisation telephone  •  • Speed Limit Sign  • Speed Limit Sign/30 mph  • Road Studs  •  •  • Snow Gates  • Anderson report  • Worboys report  • TSRGD and TSM  • Local Direction Sign  • Ramp Metering  • List of Warning Signs in TSRGD  • Warning Sign/Advance Warning of Wig-wag Signals  • Warning Sign/Open Level Crossing  • Warning Sign/Level Crossing With Gates or Barriers  • Warning Sign/Trams Crossing  • Warning Sign/Plates  • Bilingual signs  • Administrative area  • Signage  •  • Warning Sign/Tunnel Ahead  • Warning Sign/Risk of Grounding  • Warning Sign/Overhead Electric Cable  • List of Regulatory Signs in TSRGD  • List of Information Signs in TSRGD  • List of Information Signs in TSM (Ireland)  • List of Regulatory Signs in TSM (Ireland)  • List of Warning Signs in TSM (Ireland)  • Emergency Refuge Areas  • Speed Limit Sign/20 mph  • TSM (Ireland)  • Yst. Ddiw  • Road Markings/Signs  • Report of the Departmental Committee on Traffic Signs 1944  • List of Street Furniture Manufacturers  • Flood Gates

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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
MiscellaneousList of Street Furniture Manufacturers

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