Transport User Voice – May 2019 – Where do drivers want to see road junction numbers?

29 April 2019

Call for Highways England to review design of road signs 

One in five road users suggest the position of junction numbers on motorway signs can affect their driving behaviour. 

In a new survey, Transport Focus spoke to over 2000 road users to understand what impact they believe the position of junction number signs has on their motorway driving. 

In most countries, 40 to 60 per cent of the total number of accidents occur at junctions.  

Transport Focus found that almost one in five drivers surveyed admit that an obscured junction number has caused them to drive poorly, while 95 per cent claim to have seen poor driver behaviour at junctions. 

Anthony Smith, chief executive of independent watchdog Transport Focus, said: 

“This survey suggests the current position of road junction numbers on motorway signage can lead to careless driving which could perhaps be prevented. 

“Transport Focus suggests that Highways England reviews the position of junction numbers on road signs to ensure maximum visibility for the safety and convenience of all road users.” 

Road users in this survey suggest that the top left is their preferred position for a junction number. They consider this the most natural place to start reading a junction sign, and the least likely to be obscured by vegetation or lorries.  

Motorway users think inadequate training is the primary cause of poor driver behaviour at junctions, but also feel that obscured junction numbers are a contributory factor. 

Unless they know their way already, junction number signs are the most frequent way that road users say they navigate motorways. Signage is still used more frequently than satellite navigation by participants in this survey.  

In the light of these findings, Transport Focus suggests Highways England reviews the position of junction numbers on road signs to ensure maximum visibility, and better safety and convenience for all road users.  

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