Baker announces major changes to traffic sign regulations

Highways Reporters

Transport Minister Norman Baker has announced major changes to traffic sign illumination.

Speaking at the Institute Of Highway Engineer’s (IHE) Traffic Signs conference in Birmingham, Baker (pictured) stated that new traffic sign regulations in 2015 would significantly relax the current requirements to electrically illuminate many types of signs and grant new powers to highways authorities to decide if illumination was required.

The Minister also launched a new traffic advisory leaflet on traffic bollards and low level traffic signs (TAL 3/13) at the IHE event.

He said whilst a small number of signs (such as for motorways and low bridges) would continue to require lighting, it would be for each highway authority to decide whether or not to illuminate most other signs.

This relaxation was strongly supported by IHE in its response to Department for Transport’s peer review of the proposal earlier this year. Chairman of IHE’s traffic signs committee, Simon Morgan said highways authorities would also welcome the flexibility to decide when sign illumination was required.

He said: ?The relaxation of temporary roadworks signs will help highway authorities in situations where ensuring road worker safety or the risk of theft made the use of sign lighting difficult.

?Signs on self-righting bollards have been a particular difficulty, as this increasingly common device does not lend itself to electrical illumination, and yet can reflect back to the driver an adequate amount of light from dipped headlamps.?

In other news, the Association for Road Traffic Safety and Management (ARTSM) has launched a CE marking guidance document.

In the UK from 1 July 2013, as part of the Construction Products Regulation (CPR), it became unlawful to supply a permanent traffic sign or related component that has not been manufactured to the standard BS EN 12899-1: 2007.

The document is available free from the ARTSM web site in the downloads section.

ARTSM is the trade body for companies that manufacture and supply traffic signs and associated products in the UK.
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