1. Road and traffic signs

The Council as Highway Authority provides signs in order to give information to the road user.

The Highway Code gives examples of the most common signs in normal use.

Signs fall into certain groups:

  • Regulatory signs - signs with red circles
  • Warning signs - mostly triangular - help drivers identify less obvious road hazards such as side roads, bends, and animal movements
  • Direction signs - mostly rectangular. Destinations and map type
  • Information signs - mostly rectangular
  • Traffic Regulation Order Signs - one-way streets, residents' parking, speed and weight limits.
  • Brown tourism signs - help visitors find their destination to British Tourist Authority approved destinations - Apply for brown tourism signs (GOV.UK)

All signs, whether temporary or permanent, require the approval of the Council as Highway Authority.

Special signs are allowed with prior approval of the Department for Transport, or if they are experimental and under trial. The Government, through the Secretary of State for Transport, only allows officially authorised signs to be erected on the highway. For example “No Ball Games” is not an authorised sign and cannot be installed on highway verges.

Further information about road and traffic signs can found in “Know your traffic signs” 

The Highways and Engineering Division of the Environmental Services Directorate attempts to keep all signs legible and visible. All signs are reflective, but there is a legal requirement to illuminate some signs in areas of street lighting. Illuminated signs and bollards are checked regularly and are cleaned and replaced whenever necessary.

Report a problem or request a new road sign