Leading sign software updated for upcoming Govt guidance

13/08/2018
Dominic Browne

New versions of a leading UK sign face and sign structure design software have been updated to include all changes needed for the forthcoming Traffic Signs Manual revision.

SignPlot has incorporated the changes in the imminent Chapter 7 of Department for Transport’s (DfT) Traffic Signs Manual, which is expected to be released shortly.

Simon Morgan, chairman of Buchanan Computing, which makes the software, said: 'It was easy to update the software for the new Chapter 7, as SignPlot has been used to create the new diagrams in it. We had added “tiger tail” and other innovative lane indication signs over two years ago, before the 2016 TSRGD came into effect, so DfT was interested to hear what our rules were for their layout and spacing.'

Despite the industry seeing the Traffic Signs Manual as a supportive document to the statutory Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016, two years after its release the updated manual is still to be published.

A spokeswoman from the DfT told Highways: ‘We will publish the draft Chapters of the Traffic Signs Manual in due course. In the meantime, some advice on the changes made in the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016 is available in the DfT Circular published alongside them, [ available here] .’

The software has also been brought up to date, with many new symbols, including those for clean air zones and emergency lay-bys on managed motorways.

The structural design software, SignLoad, built into SignPlot and also available separately, was updated in early August. This now allow a percentage of spare capacity to be reserved for a heavy variable message sign that might be subject to fatigue, and has more options for the printout and export to sign schedules in Excel.

SignLoad Professional 3.45 is now ready to be downloaded by those with current support contracts, and the Sign Illumination Tool may be downloaded free of charge by anyone. SignPlot 3.50 will be available in late August.

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