Transport User Voice – June 2020 – Sort My Sign campaign update

26 May 2020

How we’re still looking out for you on the roads

Transport Focus launched the Sort My Sign campaign in February this year. On the first day alone we saw 50 reports going to Highways England.

The aim of the campaign is to ensure signs on Highways England’s roads better meet the needs of road users. If road signs aren’t up to scratch then safety can quickly become an issue, with road users making mistakes and taking risks with late decisions. At the very least poor signs add to frustration and stress.

At the point that coronavirus curtailed the campaign, there had been 150 reports to Sort My Sign. We’ve recently followed up with Highways England to find out what action has been taken.

They told us that of the 150 reports, 81 were passed to the relevant regional team for action as they were deemed to be safety related and required investigation within 28 days. Transport Focus is currently pressing for details about the action taken. We’ll also be probing why there are so many signs out there that Highways England needs to repair or replace.

A further 44 reports were classed as not safety related. Highways England treats these as customer insight to be reviewed at a later date. We are pressing Highways England to address these problems as well.

Providing a well-maintained road is about more than whether it is all technically safe – the user experience matters too. Clearly, some defects will require more urgent action than others, but all the problems need to be addressed in a reasonable timeframe. And in any case, is any problem with a sign truly safe to leave if it could lead to confusion and driver error? In our view if it’s not clear, it’s not safe.

Looking ahead to the future of the Sort My Sign campaign, we are preparing for a potential ‘phase two’ later in the year. That is, if it is appropriate in terms of how the coronavirus situation has developed by then.

In the meantime, the Sort My Sign website remains live. So if you’re making a (permitted!) journey and see something wrong, you can still use Sort My Sign to let Highways England know.


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