The university run – Sort My Sign

29 September 2023

This week, many families will be taking to the roads to help move their children into university accommodation around the country. A time packing up the car with numerous essential (or maybe not!) items to ensure that home from home comforts and essential study equipment is transported to start their higher education journey.

Many of these journeys will be on new and unfamiliar roads. Whether travelling on the M6 to Lancaster, the M1 to Sheffield or anywhere else in any direction, motorways and major ‘A’ roads will be a key element being used across the country. It is when these less than familiar journeys are taken where clear, easy to read road signs are essential. For some time now Transport Focus has campaigned for National Highways to up its game in providing clear, visible and damage free road signs. Our ‘sort my sign’ campaign put focus on these issues, encouraging road users to report anything they saw that needed rectifying. We saw some good progress in this area, but there is much more to do.

We recently wrote to National Highways to express our concerns over several aspects of signage on its network. We have pressed for improvements to the length of time between a defect being reported and the time it takes to get a repair done, missing signage that doesn’t seem to ever get replaced, vegetation obscuring signs and signs that are illegible because they simply need cleaning. If it’s not clear, it’s not safe.

As we push for improvements, it will be road users’ experiences, such as the run to drop family off at University that will be on our minds this week. Improving safety by providing clear, useful information on road signs should be a priority for National Highways. As the road user watchdog, we will continue to challenge on this issue, driving improvements for families, businesses and anyone wanting to use our major roads.

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