Required signs and marking the road surface
Produced in partnership with Alastair Frew of Lodders Solicitors and Nicholas Hancox of Nicholas Hancox Solicitors
Required signs and marking the road surface

The following Local Government practice note produced in partnership with Alastair Frew of Lodders Solicitors and Nicholas Hancox of Nicholas Hancox Solicitors provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Required signs and marking the road surface
  • Definitions
  • Powers and duties
  • Central government controls
  • Central government guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): This Practice Note contains guidance on matters that have temporarily been altered to assist in the management of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For further information, see: Traffic Orders Procedure (Coronavirus) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2020, LNB News 22/05/2020 77 and statutory guidance: Making traffic regulation orders during coronavirus and Traffic Management Act 2004: network management in response to COVID-19.

Definitions

A traffic sign is defined in section 64(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (RTRA 1984) to mean:

‘…any object or device (whether fixed or portable) for conveying, to traffic on roads or any specified class of traffic, warnings, information, requirements, restrictions or prohibitions of any description–

(a) specified by regulations made by the relevant authority or

(b) authorised by the relevant authority,

and any line or mark on a road for so conveying such warnings, information, requirements, restrictions or prohibitions.'

The definition therefore includes all the types of sign which will be very familiar to road users namely:

  1. warning signs (mostly triangular with a red border)

  2. mandatory prohibition signs (mostly circular with a red border)

  3. mandatory signs (mostly circular and blue), and

  4. information signs (mostly rectangular)

This last category includes direction signs, place name signs and street name signs, but also includes lines on road surfaces; yellow (and occasionally red) for parking restrictions and white for most other purposes.

Powers and duties

For a local traffic authority, putting

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