Transport watchdog launches new website for drivers to report road signs that are hidden behind trees, partly missing or give confusing information

An independent transport watchdog has launched a new campaign to encourage motorists to report terrible road signage on major roads and motorways.

The number of signs being hidden by overgrown bushes, missing large sections due to damage or targeted scrap metal theft, or simply providing confusing instructions are littering busy routes and putting motorists at risk, according to Transport Focus.

It has set up a new dedicated 'Sort My Sign' website where drivers can report poor quality signage on trunk roads that will be used to lobby the government to increase funds to improve the quality of roadside furniture.

a car driving down a street: Can't read it? Report it: An independent transport watchdog has today launched a website for motorists to report poor road signage like this on motorways and other major roads (C) Provided by This Is Money Can't read it?

Report it: An independent transport watchdog has today launched a website for motorists to report poor road signage like this on motorways and other major roads

The campaign launched today (Monday) encourages motorists to bundle pressure on Highways England - the government agency responsible for the country's major roads and motorways - to improve infrastructure.

These routes make up 4,300 miles of the nation's roads and are the major transport link for commuters, businesses and supply chain.

Around 40 to 60 per cent of all road accidents occur at junctions, it has been estimated.  

Transport Focus believes some of this is due to motorways and major routes currently being plighted by signage that isn't fit for purpose and is putting motorists in danger.

Previous studies by the group found that 17 percent of drivers had admitted to making a 'potentially unsafe manoeuvre' at a motorway slip road because the junction number on the road sign was obscured.

In the survey of 2,000 licence holders a year ago, it also found that almost a third (29 per cent) have missed a turn off because they hadn't seen the junction number on a sign. 

Almost half (47 per cent) said this was due to overgrown vegetation blocking signs, 36 per cent put it down to damaged or worn signs and 29 per cent because of poor signage lighting. 

  • a close up of a sign: Transport Focus has told drivers to report these three issues with road signs
  • a truck driving down a street next to a highway: It said one of the most commonly reported issues is with overgrown trees and bushes blocking signs on fast-moving motorways so drivers can't see the instructions
Transport Focus has told drivers to report these three issues with road signsIt said one of the most commonly reported issues is with overgrown trees and bushes blocking signs on fast-moving motorways so drivers can't see the instructions2/2 SLIDES Click to expand Replay Video Skip Ad Transport watchdog launches new website for drivers to report road signs that are hidden behind trees, partly missing or give confusing information UP NEXT

Transport Focus today highlighted the three major issues motorists have complained about in recent months in regards to road signs.

The most common is the number being covered by overgrown trees, hedges and shrubbery that block part of the directions being given to drivers. 

Another major issue is the number of metal that are damaged and missing large sections.

This has become a common sight on UK roads as a result of a recent rise in thefts.

Crafty criminals are targeting all types of road signs to sell as scrap metal, leaving many on motorways with large strips and sections - which had provided vital instructions - missing from them.

The third frequent complaint regarding roadside furniture is the confusing instructions they can give, which Transport Focus said should also be reported. 

It said the final complaint should also be registered for baffling electronic road signs. 

This is another case of road signage being blocked by trees that haven't been cut back under the instruction of Highways England, which is responsible for all motorways and major trunk roadsAgain, information for this junction sign can't be read because a tree is blocking the signThere has also been a recent rise in road sign thefts. Criminals are targeting them for their scrap metal, which they can easily sell for cash3/3 SLIDES

Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog, said: 'We want to hear from road users about signs and information that aren't up to scratch. 

'We'll use what you say to press Highways England to make journeys easier and safer.

'There is nothing more frustrating than missing your turnoff because the sign was hidden behind a tree or missing crucial information.

'While we have some of the safest roads there are still too many signs which are broken, confusing or out of date. If it's not clear, it's not safe.'

a close up of a map: The 'Sort My Sign' reporting site has been launched this week.
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pIt's a simple process of pinpointing where the poor signage is, what's wrong with it and the option to upload an image (C) Provided by This Is Money The 'Sort My Sign' reporting site has been launched this week.

It's a simple process of pinpointing where the poor signage is, what's wrong with it and the option to upload an image

To make the reporting process easy, Transport Focus has created a new dedicated website where motorists can quickly identify where a poor-quality road sign is.

Drivers can pin point where the offending sign is located and what the problem with it is.

If a passenger in the vehicle takes a picture of the faulty sign in question, this can also be uploaded to the website and will be added alongside the details and a brief description.

a close up of a map: Here is one case that has been uploaded to the website already on the A321 westbound near Caulcott in Bedfordshire due to a sign being almost entirely missing (C) Provided by This Is Money Here is one case that has been uploaded to the website already on the A321 westbound near Caulcott in Bedfordshire due to a sign being almost entirely missing a car driving on a highway: The photo uploaded from the passenger seat of the vehicle shows there is a services ahead but the majority of the sign is missing (C) Provided by This Is Money The photo uploaded from the passenger seat of the vehicle shows there is a services ahead but the majority of the sign is missing

The campaign group said it will use the examples reported to build a map of issues across the country and push Highways England to spend more on repairs and improvements for road users.

As well as fixing broken and inaccurate signs, it also wants the government agency to provide better information during delays and unexpected disruption and review the existing standards for signs on motorway and major A roads.

The dedicated Sort My Sign website not only asks drivers to report poor quality signage but also has an interactive test to see if you can read a sign while virtually travelling at a motorways speed of 70mph.

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