The UK Department for Transport (DfT) launched its circular on the new Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions TSRGD 2016.
TSRGD stands for the department of Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions.
It is the body empowered with authorizing the designs and conditions of use for all traffic signs.
Their direction oversees the lawful placing on (or near) roads and highways in England, Scotland, and Wales.
The new traffic sign regulations include a dazzling array of multi-coloured road traffic signage and road markings.
It includes pedestrian signs, cycle and equestrian crossings signs. They all represent a significant contribution to the government's deregulatory programme.
The key aim of the revision of the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions was reducing road sign clutter. The TSRGD 2016 circular also contains many changes which should cut costs.
Part of the update also aims to decrease the general complexity of British road traffic signage.
The revised modern framework means far fewer signs actually need to get placed on or near the public highways around the UK. An extra bonus to the new sign regulations is that local authorities now have the right to remove many of their old existing signs.
The main thrust of the circular clearly reiterates what is blindingly obvious to most people around the UK.
"Overuse of traffic signs blights our landscape, wastes taxpayers' money. It also dilutes important road safety messages.
Research carried out by the Department to inform the Traffic Signs Policy Review showed that the number of traffic signs has doubled in the last 20 years. This is unsustainable, and bears out the need to reduce signing whenever possible. A culture change is necessary for the way signing gets used."
In their defence, somewhat, the Department sets the legislation governing what traffic signs actually mean and how they appear.
The overriding decisions about which traffic signs to place, and where to place them on the roadways, gets organised by local authorities.
Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016 is giving authorities the chance to tackle the scourge of too many traffic signs. A statement of the transport minister seems to confirm the discussion.
"This radical overhaul of TSRGD represents a significant contribution to the Government's deregulatory programme. By removing much of the cost and red tape associated with the delivery of traffic management solutions, and by broadening the range of available information on traffic signs, road users will feel the benefit sooner.
That relates to reduced congestion, improved road safety, and clear and succinct signing - benefiting the wider economy. We have also included a range of new signs to promote cycling take up and safety".
It certainly appears that they have stripped out most of the rules that contributed to the proliferation of traffic signs around the United Kingdom.
Let's hope a pragmatic regulatory regime keeps the broader message to the minimum. Road users will then be less distracted and the environment will be less spoiled by traffic signs and road markers.
Note: You can report a problem with a street name sign to the local council authority (e.g. if signs are missing or damaged).
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DfT Circulate New Traffic Sign Regulations TSRGD in the United Kingdom