The source of all those road-works signs on the pavement

2 Nov

I have recently posted about the nonsense of placing ‘road narrows’ signs and ‘road works’ signs across the pavement when it is clearly unnecessary and they only cause problems for pedestrians, especially those with buggies or wheelchairs etc. This evening I have come across the manual that appears to tell them to do it. It is the ‘Traffic Signs Manual‘.

Chapter 8 of this document is titled ‘Traffic Safety Measures and Signs for Road Works and Temporary Situations’. It has has lots of lovely general text about being aware of pedestrians and one specific requirement about the pavement never being narrowed to less than 1 metre. Here are the relevant sections:

  • D1.1.2 Road works on or near a carriageway, cycleway or footway might impair the safety and free movement of vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians (particularly those with mobility and visual impairments)
  • D2.1.5 During the planning stage of road works schemes… attention must be paid to the needs of pedestrians. This applies especially in the vicinity of bus stops, shops, post offices, leisure facilities and day centres.
  • D4.4.1    Signs should be placed where they will be clearly seen and cause minimum inconvenience to drivers, cyclists, pedestrians and other road users alike, and where there is minimum risk of their being hit or knocked over by traffic. Where there is a grass verge the signs should normally be placed there. If no verge is present, the placing of signs on the footway is permitted but in no circumstances must the width of the footway be reduced to less than 1m, preferably not less than 1.5m.

Unfortunately the rest of the manual seems to require maintenance companies to place all sorts of signs on the pavement. For example, this diagram, which one finds replicated across the country, shows two signs on each approaches to the road works all of which are placed on the pavement. Nothing that I can see talking about using these signs with discretion, there is no discussion about what to do in situations where there are rows of parked cars and cars on the pavement and there is no suggestion that discretion and common sense should be used:

Road works layout

I don’t think that the authors considered these real life situations in our car littered towns. In this first example the road works are between two parked cars so the road is not actually narrowed, but the pavement certainly is!

I still can’t believe that someone would leave a sign here

In this second example the works are at a dead-end so the only people coming are going to be on foot!

Not so clever

An this final situation shows just how bonkers it can all get in the extreme. Notice that yet again the road is not actually narrowed at all, but the pavement is now completely unusable!

Yet another ‘road narrows’ sign, this time there is also a car to complete the picture

One Response to “The source of all those road-works signs on the pavement”


  1. Delivering essential services… « Pedestrian Liberation - November 12, 2010

    […] confirms that these companies appear to be required to lay out signage in this way as covered in my more recent post. I will take a look at the legislation mentioned in their response (below) and do anyone post in […]

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