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Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has called for a reduction in useless road signs that serve no purpose. The new plans will give local councils the authority to reduce the number of road markings and signs. Leading to less confusion and more scenic roads.

The changes are part of a consultation that will rely on local authorities making good use of
their judgement in deciding where signs are displayed. Changes to sign size and illumination will also reduce visual clutter.

In the past 20 years the number of road signs has doubled to 4.5 million. Some of which serve no purpose at all such as the ‘Sign Not In Use’ signs. The Department for Transport admits there are around 9000 road signs that are redundant or need revising.

An example of a proposed change will be to remove the requirement for both road markings and traffic signs to indicate parking bays.

Mr McLoughlin said: “Over the past two decades we’ve seen a huge rise in the number of unnecessary signs blotting the landscapes of our towns and cities.”

“Many of the signs that go up are simply not needed and it has got to stop. As well as spoiling otherwise beautiful areas of the country, pointless signs just confuse drivers and make the roads less safe.”

A survey conducted by the Department for Transport revealed that most people have no idea about what many road sign mean. These include yellow and black clearway signs, which mean no stopping between certain times and the red and blue circles which mean no waiting.

The Department for Transport also plans to introduce a range of measures that will make roads safer for cyclists and encourage more people to take up cycling. Changes include making cycle boxes at traffic lights bigger, introducing low level traffic light signals to give cyclists a head start and rolling out shared crossings for pedestrians and cyclists.

Paul Watters, AA Head of Roads Policy, said: “Getting the balance right will be difficult – sign clutter is a problem but we should not cut back on signs that stop drivers speeding or parking badly.”