Traffic Signs Review — Good in Parts
The Association of British Drivers welcomes the aims of the Traffic Signs Review 1
to reduce sign clutter and make signs easier for road users to understand.
There are two areas in particular, however, where the ABD has reservations.
First, the Government intends to give local authorities greater freedom to decide how they publicise proposed traffic restrictions such as speed limits and banned turns. While this may sound like a welcome reduction in red tape, experience shows that many local authorities already do as little as they can get away with to publicise such proposals, in the hope that no one will notice and lodge objections. The ABD fears that giving them more freedom will, in practice, lead to users of roads affected by proposed restrictions getting even less chance to have their views considered.
It is suggested that, as a minimum, local authorities should be required to publish all proposed traffic regulation orders on their websites. Adequate on-site notices should be provided to inform all road users, including passing drivers, of a proposed restriction and the website address where details can be found.
Second, the proposed changes to parking signs include the introduction of Restricted Parking Zones (RPZs) which, like existing Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs), will have signs at all zone entry points showing the restrictions applying within them. Unlike CPZs, however, there will be no road markings or signs within a RPZ, except where restrictions differ from the general one. The idea is that RPZs will cover smaller areas than many CPZs, so drivers should be able to remember what was displayed on the entry sign they passed.
The ABD is concerned, however, that RPZs could confuse drivers and lead to them inadvertently contravening waiting restrictions.
Chairman Brian Gregory comments:
“For fifty years drivers have become accustomed to associating yellow lines with parking restrictions. If yellow lines are removed from some areas but not others, some drivers are likely to end up parking where they should not. Councils will no doubt be rubbing their hands at the thought of all the extra penalty charge money they can make from this confusion. This is a step too far in the drive to reduce sign clutter.”