Highways England urged to redraw motorway signage

29 Apr 2019

Highways England urged to redraw motorway signage

Highways England has been urged to redraw motorway signage in a bid to make the carriageways safer and curb dangerous manoeuvres.

Motoring organisation Transport Focus carried out a poll of more than 2,000 drivers and found 17 per cent admitted to having made a 'potentially unsafe' move on the motorway because the junction number they were looking for was obscured.

A further 29 per cent said they had missed a junction at some point because they hadn't noticed the number.

Of those who said they had experienced difficulties with junction numbers, 74 per cent reported struggling to see them when high-sided vehicles were in the way and 47 per cent said overgrown vegetation was the issue.

Other motorists claimed some signs were damaged and therefore difficult to read, while some highlighted poor lighting at night harming visibility.

Worryingly, Transport Focus found evidence of some drivers making last-minute manoeuvres such as swerving across lanes or chevrons after seeing signs at the last minute, with some even opting to reverse along the motorway as a result of missing their junction.

Chief executive of the organisation Anthony Smith said Highways England should consider having its motorway signs redone in a bid to curb careless driving, including moving junction numbers from the bottom left corner where they may not be easily visible.

Its report concluded that this would "ensure maximum visibility for the safety and convenience of all road users".

Highways England said it welcomes any research that aims to increase safety on Britain's roads, but did not comment on whether or not it would be making adjustments to signage.

There are more than five million road accidents in Britain each year, which result in around 35,000 fatal or serious injuries.

Earlier this month, the AA warned that removing the hard shoulder from some stretches of motorway could increase this figure, as could increasing the speed limit past roadworks.