Traffic signs on public roads must be as prescribed in the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 or specifically authorised by the Department for Transport. More information can be found in the Highway Code.
Signs which are not on public roads may be subject to planning permission - contact your district or borough council for further advice.
The following are examples of traffic signs which may be funded or provided by local authorities or other organisations/individuals. All signs erected on public roads must be approved by us.
Provided and funded by us:
- advisory signs - e.g. reduce speed now, village name plates (with safety message), unsuitable for heavy goods vehicles;
- direction signs - to guide and direct traffic;
- information signs - e.g. weight limit ahead, diversion signs;
- regulatory signs - e.g. speed limit, waiting restrictions;
- rights of way signs - e.g. footpath, bridleway, byway; and
- warning signs - e.g. bend, junction, road narrows, ice.
To request a new sign please use our online form, selecting report type Traffic Management, problem type Traffic signs.
To request a new sign on a trunk road (PDF, 89kb) please contact the Highways Agency Information Line.
Provided and funded by district or borough councils:
- car park signs (for car parks owned and managed by district councils);
- pedestrian finger post signs (in certain locations); and
- street name plates - please contact the district or borough council if you have any issues with street name plates.
Subject to approval by us but funded by others:
- housing development signs - funded by developer;
- neighbourhood watch - usually funded by applicant;
- temporary signs advertising local events;
- tourist signs - usually funded by applicant (tourist signs application form (PDF, 50kb) and guidance notes); and
- village signs - usually funded by parish/town Council.
Certain signs must be lit if they are within 50 metres of a street light.
Please use our online report if there is a problem with a lit sign on a public highway.
This includes all signs intended to guide, inform or control users of the highway, and are normally reflective, with the exception of waiting restriction signs. Unlit signs on the A and B class road network are inspected each year as part of an annual cleaning process.
Please use our online report if you would like to tell us about an unlit sign which needs repair or replacement.
If the unlit sign is on a trunk road (PDF, 89kb) please contact the Highways Agency Information Line.
Mirrors on the road
We cannot place mirrors on the highway because they are regarded as traffic signs. As they do not appear within the Traffic Signs and General Directions 2002, they would require special authorisation from the Department of Transport. This is a lengthy process and permission is unlikely to be given except in exceptional circumstances and only as a temporary measure pending a visibility improvement scheme. In addition they can cause a safety problem because:
- they can affect drivers' visibility because they reflect headlamps/sunshine;
- they can affect drivers' ability to judge the distance of approaching vehicles because convex mirrors are used to achieve a wide angle for visibility;
- weather conditions could cause visibility problems which could be dangerous to users.
The erection of a mirror on private property is a matter for agreement with the land owner and planning permission may be necessary (please contact your local Borough or District Council planning department). Mirrors erected on the public highway which have not been authorised by the Department for Transport will be treated as an unauthorised sign and may be removed.