Latest Public Sector News

19.09.13

Councils should create more 20mph zones – DfT

Transport minister Norman Baker has urged more councils to implement 20mph zones and to take advantage of new freedoms to make their own decisions on sign lighting and removing ‘signage clutter.

Speaking at the Traffic Signs Conference in Aston yesterday, hosted by the Institute of Highway Engineers, Baker said: “I have decided to retain the current lighting requirements for safety-critical signs such as those relating to low or narrow bridges, regulatory terminal signs including ‘Give way’ and ‘No entry’, as well as for stop signs, two-way traffic signs, and motorway entry, exit and gantry-mounted signs.

“By contrast, once the successor to TSRGD comes into force in 2015 I have decided that it will no longer be necessary to light signs either for lane closures and contra-flow working at road works, or those mounted on bollards in street lit areas. I know the latter will be welcome news for many traffic authorities. In addition, traffic authorities will have discretion over the lighting of warning signs, regulatory cycle signs and those within 20mph zones and 20mph limits.”

He noted that new guidance encourages local authorities to implement more 20mph zones to ensure greater safety for pedestrians and cyclists, and said he is seeking a commitment from ACPO that such zones will be properly policed.

He added that he is keen to see “old, confusing and ugly traffic signs” removed, “as cost-effectively as possible”.

“In London alone 8,000 repeater signs and 4,000 poles installed in the early 1990s have been ripped out. In Hampshire 200 traffic signs have been taken away along a 12 mile stretch of the A32 while in Somerset 1,000 signs have been removed.”

Baker’s full speech can be read here.

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@publicsectorexecutive.com

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