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.
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.
If you want to request a street nameplate, please contact your district council.
Report unnecessary road signs
We have promised to remove unnecessary road clutter, such as signs, lines on the road, bollards and railings.
- Do you know of any road signs, lines, bollards or railings that are no longer needed? For example, where a school has closed, but there is still a school warning sign for motorists.
- Are there road signs that you believe are unnecessary and clutter the environment?
- Or, is a sign displayed on a post when it could be sited on a street light column?
If so, we would like to hear from you. You can report unnecessary road signs using the ‘report now’ button below.
- tell us what sort of sign it is, for example, a cattle crossing sign
- tell us where the sign is, with a brief description, to help us find it – for example, ‘on the A38 opposite the turning for Silver Street’
- give the reason you believe it should be removed
- tell us which Somerset district it is in (Mendip, Sedgemoor, South Somerset, or Somerset West and Taunton Council)
We will look at all the suggestions we receive in line with the relevant laws and regulations and, where appropriate. we will remove the sign.
Please understand that while we are grateful for your suggestions, we cannot enter into individual correspondence about these submissions, and our decision is final.
Depending on the number of submissions we receive, it could take 12 months to remove a sign, so please be patient.
Depending on the type and location of the sign and whether it runs on an electricity supply will affect how much it costs to remove the sign.
We provide pedestrian crossings throughout Somerset to help people cross busy roads safely and easily.
You can report a problem with a pedestrian crossing using the button below.
School flashing lights warn drivers and cyclists about children likely to be crossing the road on the way to and from a nearby school.
If you would like to request a pedestrian crossing or school flashing lights, you should contact the appropriate parish council. They will contact the Area Highways Office on your behalf if they support your request.
There are 4 types of pedestrian crossing used in Somerset.
The 3 types of signal controlled crossings are:
- Pelican (pedestrian light controlled crossing)
- Puffin (pedestrian user friendly intelligent crossing)
- Toucan (pedestrians and cyclists crossing derived from ‘two can’ cross)
The type of uncontrolled crossing is a:
- Zebra (from the black and white stripes on the crossing)
Report a damaged traffic sign or bollard
We maintain and repair road signs and bollards to national standards, to provide safe access for all road users.
You can report road signs or non-illuminated bollards which need cleaning, repair or replacement here.
If you are reporting this defect outside normal working hours (Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.30pm) and you believe it is an urgent problem and a risk to public safety, please phone the police on 101.
When you contact us please give us the following information:
- Your name and phone number, in case we need to contact you
- Where the sign or bollard is, including the road name
- If possible, the number on the sign or bollard
- Whether the problem is outside a specific property
We will prioritise what we do depending on how severe the defect is and where it is.
Problems with road signs can include:
- Missing sign plates
- Plates turned around or slipped on the post
- Signs obscured by hedges
- Trees or dirt obscuring signs on A and B roads
We operate an emergency call out service for illuminated signs and bollards.
To report a problem with an illuminated road sign or bollard please phone our Streetlight Fault Line, on 0345 601 0939.
Our contractor must make sure that the number of faulty illuminated signs and bollards stays below 2% each month. Over the past two years a level of around 1% has been achieved.
Your local area highways office holds keys to removable bollards in their respective area. See the contacts information below for details.
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.
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:
- Regulatory signs – signs with red circle
- Warning signs – mostly triangular
- Direction signs – mostly rectangular, destinations and map type or finger arm signs that show directions to specific locations
- 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 2016. They are provided to guide, warn, direct and inform road users.
School flashing lights
School flashing lights can only be erected in certain circumstances and consideration needs to be given to the suitability of a site. This would include the visibility, location and electricity supply, among other things.
If a suitable site is found, thought will need to be given to how any work will be funded.
Signal controlled pedestrian crossings will have either bleepers or a small cone underneath the push button that spins, this is to help blind and visually impaired people know when it is safe to cross. Some newer sites have both. All pedestrian crossings in Somerset should have tactile paving (bumpy paving) at the crossing point, this is to help blind and visually impaired people know where to cross. Most pedestrian crossings will have lowered kerbs to help people with wheel chairs and push chairs cross safely and easily.
Vehicle activated warning signs
Speed warning signs, or vehicle activated signs (VAS), are signs with an electronic display. They show speed or an approaching hazard, and may have an accompanying message.
There are two types of vehicle activated warning signs:
- signs that warn of an approaching hazard, such as bends or junctions, designed to encourage drivers to approach at a safe speed
- signs that encourage drivers to comply with the speed limits through villages and urban areas. This type of vehicle activated sign is normally called a speed indicator device (SID), and can either be temporary or permanent
The display on speed warning signs is activated when a vehicle has been detected travelling at more than the speed limit set within the sign. They can be used to address problems of inappropriate speed where conventional signing has proved to be ineffective.
It is important that traffic is controlled and managed in a consistent and defensible way that also promotes the very best guidance and good practice around road safety. We identify VAS locations by using information about the history of speed related injury accidents and inappropriate speed.
Applications for VAS or a speed indicator device (SID) must be made through your parish or town council. We do not accept applications from individuals.
Permanent vehicle activated signs will only be considered and funded as part of a road safety scheme where there is evidence of an injury collision problem associated with inappropriate speed that has not been resolved by standard signing, lining, or other appropriate action.
Portable temporary SIDs are used at sites that do not meet the requirements for a permanent VAS, but where there is evidence of personal injury collision or an inappropriate speed problem.
Parish or town councils that wish to be considered for SID sites should contact us. We will work with the councils to assess whether a SID would be appropriate and help them plan for buying one.
Acceptance depends on the location meeting our policy criteria around speeds and collisions. It must be in a 20mph, 30mph or 40mph speed limit. Contact us for more information about the latest SID guidance.
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 risk.
Tourism signs and fingerposts
We provide a complete service from giving advice, letting you know whether your application qualifies and is suitable, through to providing and siting brown and white tourism signs for visitor attractions and facilities in Somerset.
To request a tourism sign please complete the application form in Downloads and send it to your local Area Highway Office. You can find the address of your Area Highway Office by using the link in the contact section of this page.
There is a charge of £250 to submit an application. This does not include other implementation costs, which can be from as little as a few hundred pounds to several thousand for a complicated scheme.
We have to consider things like road safety, quality and ‘sign pollution’ before we approve applications. We will assess your application to make sure it meets our criteria – which include road safety and traffic management.
There is a copy of the ‘Brown and White Tourism Sign Policy and Guidance Notes’ in Downloads.
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 which provides all the information needed for 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.