Somerset County Council
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Road signs and markings

 

Report problems with damaged or missing road signs
Apply for road markings or report a problem
Loading bays
Request a new road sign
Request a new village nameplate
Mirrors on the road
Fingerposts
Laws and regulation 

Report problems with damaged or missing road signs 
Signs are essential for keeping our roads safe and helping us use the roads correctly. We maintain signs, which includes cleaning, repair and replacement. We carry out regular inspections to make sure signs are properly lit, reflective and are not obscured, damaged or missing. If we have not put up, or given permission for, a sign on the road or verge, we can have it removed. Contact us to report a problem with a road sign.

Apply for road markings or report a problem 
We put markings on the road, such as give way markings, school keep clears and bus stop markings, to make them safe for everyone.

Contact us to report road markings that are unclear, damaged or missing reflective road studs, or to request new road markings.

Report now

We will consider a request for road markings taking into account the needs of the wider public, local businesses and organisations.

We work with the police to make sure that 'Keep Clear' and white bar markings are only provided where they are most needed.

Some markings, such as yellow lines, require a Traffic Regulation Order to make them enforceable. Before considering new yellow lines, you should get support from neighbours, your parish or town council, the police and anyone else likely to be affected. The legal process involved in making a Traffic Regulation Order can take up to 12 months.  

You can find ways to improve your local roads, or to help solve a problem on the our
Traffic Choices website

Loading bays
You must write to the Traffic Engineer at your local area highways office (see contact information at the bottom of this page) to get a loading bay outside your premises. To put a loading bay in requires a change to the Traffic Regulation Order for that road. The turn around time is between 6 aApnd 12 months and must be agreed by all parties involved. 

Request a new road sign 
Contact your town or parish council to request a new road sign. They will contact the Area Highways Office for you if they support your request.

If you want to request a street nameplate, please contact your district council.

Request a new village nameplate 
Village nameplates can include the words 'Please drive carefully' in a 30, 40 or 50mph speed limit or 'Please drive slowly' in a national speed limit. They can also include a pictorial symbol, such as a parish crest, local landmark or twinned town legend if appropriate.

Contact us for nameplates on  'A' Class roads. Nameplates on all other roads are usually paid for by your parish council.

Contact your parish council if you would like to request a village nameplate. If they support your request they will make the application on your behalf. We will then prepare a quote and send it to the parish council for agreement and payment.

When we have considered your request, we will tell you about our decision by letter, phone or email. 

The cost of the village nameplate will vary depending on the size and number of posts used, this could be up to £200 for each sign and post. 

Mirrors on the road
We do not allow the use of mirrors on the road. This is because we know that, rather than improving safety, a mirror could, in certain circumstances, increase the risk.

Fingerposts
We value the importance of our historic fingerpost signs and are keen to work with local communities to help preserve them. 

Somerset County Council and the Southwest Heritage Trust have produced a handbook to provide all the information required to enable community groups to decide if they would like to take part in a restoration project.

You can find out more about the Somerset Fingerpost Restoration Project here.

Laws and regulation 
To be safe, signs have to be carefully regulated and must comply with all relevant laws and regulations.  We must authorise all signs on the road. Special signs are allowed, with the approval of the Department for Transport, or if they are experimental and under trial.

Signs are grouped into 4 categories:

  1. Regulatory signs - signs with red circle
  2. Warning signs - mostly triangular
  3. Direction signs - mostly rectangular, destinations and map type or finger arm signs that show directions to specific locations
  4. Information signs - mostly rectangular  

New direction and warning signs can be provided if they are considered necessary and where budgets allow.

New regulatory signs will be considered but require a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) and support from the police, who have to enforce the restrictions and prohibitions.

We must authorise all road signs. Special signs are allowed with approval from the Department for Transport, or if they are experimental and under trial.

All road must comply with the Traffic Signs Manual, Chapters 1-18 Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002.. They are provided to guide, warn, direct and inform road users. 

Contacts

Contact: Roads and Transport Team
Email: roadsandtransportSD@somerset.gov.uk
Phone: 0300 123 2224
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm, Saturday and Sunday closed.

If there is an urgent problem outside these hours and it is a risk to public safety please phone the police on 101.

If you need to visit a highway area office you can find the address of your local office here.

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