Apply for directional signing for a tourist destination in Suffolk

How to apply for directional signing to a tourist destination, including the initial costs, the criteria you need to fulfil and an outline of the application.

The purpose of tourist signing is to help guide visitors from outside the local area to a tourist destination along the most appropriate route at the latter stages of their journey.  These signs should supplement rather than duplicate information already provided on existing directional signs. 

All requests for signing on trunk roads shall be assessed against the guidelines set down by Highways England.   

Where signing is being requested on a trunk road or on roads under the control of a neighbouring highway authority, the applicant will be required to complete the appropriate application forms from Highways England and / or the relevant highway authority in addition to the application form for signing on county roads in Suffolk.


The cost of new applications for tourist signing is £180. Cheques or Postal Orders should be made payable to “Suffolk County Council” and crossed “A/C payee only” and sent to:

Safety and Speed Management Team
Suffolk Highways
Phoenix House
3 Goddard Road
Suffolk IP1 5NP

(Coming soon on-line payments by Credit or Debit Card)

You will be responsible for all costs associated with your application including the costs of the Design, Manufacture, and Erection of the signs if your application is successful.  You will also be responsible for on-going maintenance of the signs including replacement if they are damaged.

We are unable to consider any applications until we receive a completed application form and payment.

Charges when your application is successful

If the application is successful you will be sent a communication by either a letter or e-mail confirming your application has been successful.  We will then seek a design and construction estimate from our Professional Services team, which can take up to 4-weeks to be obtained and e-mail you a copy of the estimate when available.

The design and construction estimate will vary for each application depending on the number, type and location of signing being requested.  The design and construction estimate will also include a sum to cover the costs of future sign removal should the destination close or no longer meets the criteria for signing the destination.

If you are seeking signing on a trunk road, a separate estimate will be provided by Highways England on the likely costs associated with these particular signs.

Once you confirm you are happy with the design and construction estimate in writing by e-mail, you will be sent an invoice with details on how to make a payment. No design work will commence until we receive payment.

Charges when your application is not successful

If the application is not successful, then you will not be refunded the £180 application fee.


Please download and carefully read our guidance notes to determine if your tourist destination is eligible for brown tourist signage.  If your destination does not meet the requirements for brown tourist signage, you may still be eligible for normal directional signage. 

Ensure you have the following before you consider applying:

         1. Plans showing the location of the destination and location of requested signing

                  - Destination Location Plan (e.g. 1:5000 scale)

                  - Sign location plans (e.g. 1:1250 scale)

2.  Photographs of any existing signs present at the requested locations for new signage.

3. On a separate sheet of paper, please provide any other relevant information, which may support your application for directional signage. 

4. Please also provide examples of the destination’s publicity material including post codes for satellite navigation systems. 

5. If you are seeking signage on a trunk road or roads under the control of a neighbouring highway authority, a completed application form from Highways England and / or from the appropriate highway authority.

To apply for brown tourist signs or normal directional signs:

1)   Download either the Tourist Sign Application Form or Normal Directional Sign Application Form depending on the type of signs you are applying for.

2)   Detach the relevant Application Form, then complete and sign

3)   Send your completed application form, plans, photographs, publicity material and any other completed application form from Highways England and/or neighbouring highway authority to or:

Safety and Speed Management Team
Suffolk Highways
Phoenix House
3 Goddard Road
Suffolk IP1 5NP

We will send you an acknowledgement confirming receipt of your application. 

If you need further help, you can contact us using webchat or by phone on 0345 606 6171.

When we receive your application, we will check that:

  • You have completed all required sections and have signed the relevant application form
  • You have provided plans showing the location of the destination and the locations of where the signs are required.
  • You have provided photographs showing existing signs at the same locations as the requested signing.
  • You have provided publicity material for the destination which includes a post code for satellite navigation users to use to find the destination
  • Where you are seeking signs on trunk roads or on roads under the control of a neighbouring highway authority, you have provided the relevant completed application forms.

It will take us up to 8 weeks to assess your application and we will write you with the outcome of our assessment.

If you have received an outcome within 8 weeks of the date that you paid the £180 application fee, you can contact us.  Use webchat, email or by phone 0345 606 6171.

If we approve your application, we will seek a design and construction estimate from our Professional Services Team (which can take up to 4 weeks to obtain).  We will contact you again to provide you with details of the design and construction estimate. You will need to confirm acceptance of the estimate in writing by either e-mail or letter and we will send you an invoice for the value of the estimate along with payment details.

Sometimes it is not always possible to approve the provision of signing because of environmental or traffic considerations.  This may be the case even if the application meets the criteria.

If your application is unsuccessful, we will outline the reason(s) why the application has not been agreed in writing.

We reserve the right to refuse to approve signing where we consider there are already too many signs at a location, or the signs are being proposed within an environmentally sensitive area.

What happens if I don’t agree with your decision not to approve my application?

If you disagree with our decision, you can write to us setting out the reason(s) why you consider that we have not applied the criteria correctly.

You can do this by emailing or writing to:

Suffolk Highways
Safety & Speed Management Team
Phoenix House
We will review your application in light of the reason(s) you have put forward and we will write to you again following further consideration

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