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Legal guide to UK motoring, sections for law enforcement, Driver licensing, learner and new drivers, buying and selling, speeding fines, owning a vehicle, wheel clamping, traffic information.

Road Signs


Information signs

Information about the road ahead

These signs indicate the loss of the right-hand lane on a dual carriageway road or one-way street. The signs may be reversed to indicate the loss of the left-hand lane. The number of ahead lanes is varied as appropriate. The signs are often used at the end of a climbing lane and may include a distance (as shown for the motorway sign)

Signs for lay-bys and parking areas

Boundary signs

Signs indicating county, town or village boundaries may include a crest or logo, a message of welcome, a phrase about a local geographical or historical feature, or the names of twin towns. They may be any shape or colour. The town and village signs may also include tourist attraction symbols and road safety messages. A speed limit sign may be placed in combination with a boundary sign at a village gateway. Other signs may show the name of a river, inland waterway, bridge or tunnel.

Hospital signs

Hospitals with accident and emergency departments, or minor injury units, are indicated by red signs. The words "not 24 hrs" are omitted when facilities are available at all timesBlue signs indicate hospitals without accident and emergency facilities

The route to a hospital may be indicated on direction signs by the“H” symbol on a red or blue patch, denoting whether accident and emergency facilities are available or not

Signs for pedestrians

Signs for vehicle checks

Temporary signs are put out when vehicles are to be stopped for an excise licence check or vehicle inspection. These signs may apply to specific types of vehicle such as goods vehicles or buses, and they may indicate which lanes to use.

Police signs

These temporary signs are put out by the police to warn of potential danger or an accident ahead and the need to proceed with cautionThese temporary signs are put out by the police to warn of potential danger or an accident ahead and the need to proceed with caution

Parking area reserved for police vehicles (the sign might say "Police vehicles only") or additionally, when varied to "Authorised vehicles only", vehicles such as those of the Highways Agency's Traffic OfficersArea where, from time to time, police carry out checks on the speed of vehicles

Signs for traffic surveys

These temporary signs are used when traffic surveys are taking place. Vehicles may be directed to stop at the census point

Other information signs

Where a road is physically closed part-way along its length to prevent its use by through traffic, this sign may be erected at the closure point. Vehicles should not be parked in a manner that would obstruct any gateway or opening that allows access for emergency vehiclesA temporary sign may be provided for up to three months following a permanent change to the road layout ahead. The sign may be varied to indicate the nature of the change, such as a new roundabout, or that the operation of traffic signals has been changed

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