What do you need to know about traffic sign placement?
Summarising your traffic signs manual in five points
There are several factors to consider when approaching traffic sign placement. To try and simplify the guidance, we have identified five key points for you to assess before installing any new signage in order to ensure adequate placement.
When reviewing the positioning of the sign, it is important to consider the edge distance. This refers to the distance between the edge of the carriageway and the edge of the sign face nearest the carriageway. In order to adhere to Traffic Signs Regulations, the sign should not be less than 0.75m from the edge of the carriageway.
However, it is important to note that the signs should avoid any overhang of the existing highway boundary without the adjoining owners’ consent.
Another element of positioning the sign is the mounting height, which is the height of the lowest edge of the sign above the verge/footway.
Traffic Sign Regulations state that the height should not be less than 2.15m or 2.40m for cycle lanes.
When considering the location of the sign, you must also consider the speed of approach as generally the higher the speed, the further in advance of the hazard the sign needs to be placed. This is to ensure that drivers have the necessary time to respond to the warning. If it is unfeasible to place a sign within the recommended distance, it should be installed further away from the hazard at the nearest viable point.
The purpose of traffic signage is to manage and guide traffic, alerting drivers to a potential hazard and emphasising road safety. In order to achieve this the sign must be clearly visible to approaching traffic to successfully convey the message or information.
Care should also be taken when the sign is located on the inside of a bend as you must take into consideration that forward visibility around the bend is not obstructed
Another element of visibility to consider is that the sign should be located so as not to obstruct visibility from side roads or accesses.
3 Sign obstruction
You must also assess the clear visibility distance for the sign to ensure that the sight line is kept clear from obstructions such as foliage, street furniture or other signs. When considering sign obstruction, it is also important to review potential future obstructions that may arise.
For example, it is preferable not to site a sign under an overhanging tree/hedge which may keep blocking the sign and so further maintenance will be required in order to maintain full visibility.
4 Sign Conflict
Before locating a traffic sign, it is important to assess the wider area and identify any other signage. There must be no conflict with other signs within the immediate vicinity and it is vital that existing signs are not obscured.
Any additional signs you are looking to install must not conflict with permanent signage. In the case of power failure it is important that the existing signs remain in place.
5 Visual Intrusion
Before installing any new traffic signage, care should be taken to avoid unnecessary visual intrusion into the general landscape.
You should also make sure that the sign is not visually intrusive from windows of adjoining properties, for example posts should not project above the top of the sign as this needlessly increases visual intrusion and clutter.