Transport ministers have welcomed the removal of thousands of road signs in England. Last year, officials promised to liberate the country from excessive road signage, otherwise described as “unnecessary clutter,” but can such a move be justified?
Road signs are obviously essential for maintaining health and safety on Britain’s roads, as they provide important information and directions for road users. Too many road signs, however, can cause confusion. More important to residents of rural communities, excessive signage can ruin the aesthetics of an area.
Since restrictions on road signs were lifted in October 2011, Somerset, London and Hampshire have led the way in removing “confusing and ugly” signs. To date, more than 9,000 signs have been removed by local authorities.
In 2014, new laws are expected to be implemented, that give local authorities more control over the location of road signs.
Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, said: “There are too many unnecessary signs blotting the landscape of our towns and cities. London, Hampshire and Somerset are a fantastic example and I urge other councils to think about where traffic signs are placed and whether they are needed at all.”
Here at The Sussex Sign Company, we welcome the removal of unnecessary signage, but question whether the clean-up will result in too many important road signs being taken down.