It can be frustrating when road signs are out of date, unclear or damaged, especially if you are relying on them to direct you during a journey. A nationwide campaign has been launched to help with this problem, encouraging road users to report signs that could increase driver stress and even make our roads less safe.
Fed up with road signs that are missing information or hidden by overgrown trees?
Transport Focus, an independent road user watchdog, has launched a new nationwide campaign called Sort My Sign to encourage England’s road users to report poor road signage.
The campaign is calling on road users to report poor signs on the 4300 miles of motorways and major ‘A’ roads managed by Highways England.
Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said:
"We want to hear from road users about signs and information that aren’t up to scratch. We’ll use what you say to press Highways England to make journeys easier and safer.
"There is nothing more frustrating than missing your turnoff because the sign was hidden behind a tree or missing crucial information.
"While we have some of the safest roads there are still too many signs which are broken, confusing or out of date. If it’s not clear, it’s not safe."
The Sort My Sign campaign aims to increase the usefulness and effectiveness of information on roads, including messages on electronic signs.
The hope is that this will allow more road users to make informed decisions in plenty of time, improving safety and reducing stress.
Transport Focus will use examples sent in to build up a map of issues across England and press for improvements for road users.
RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said:
"While it might be Britain’s ongoing problem with potholes that attracts most of the headlines, sadly they are not the only problem with our roads.
"RAC data shows that among drivers who think the condition of the roads has worsened in the last 12 months, around one-in-five say it’s actually poor signage visibility that’s the problem, with a similar proportion complaining about a lack of foliage management.
"So we warmly welcome the Sort My Sign initiative that allows motorists to quickly and easily report problems they spot, and hopefully get something done about them.
"As drivers we might be more dependent on sat navs for getting around than ever, but that’s no excuse for unclear, confusing or incomplete signage – in fact clear signs are vital to help many drivers navigate safely and confidently, especially in parts of the country that they don’t know so well."
Most drivers will agree with this initiative and hopefully we will begin to see a change to UK road signage. It is true that potholes garner much attention from road users, but problematic road signs contribute their fair share of stress to our journeys. This is particularly true because drivers usually rely on signs because they are in an unfamiliar place – and that unfamiliarity in itself can increase stress. To then have signs that are broken or hidden simply compounds this stress, leading to unsafe situations where a driver may decide to change course at the last minute. We hope that the Sort My Sign campaign will help to reduce the risk of such scenarios, providing drivers with clear messaging and leading to safer, stress-free journeys.