Signs are provided to inform, warn, and direct. Road signs are designed so that drivers can read and understand them in no longer than four seconds. Most of the time, the sign writers get it right. But there are a few that leave you scratching you head in bewilderment.
Here are a few puzzling ones that I have seen recently.
At first sight, this one look fine. It’s pointing to the Stoneham Lane Football Complex, isn’t it?
Well, er, no. It’s pointing further up Stoneham Lane, rather than into the entrance of the complex.
I’m not sure what happened. Did no one realise that shaping the sign around the pentagon-shaped logo would make it look like an arrow, or has the logo been placed on the wrong side of the sign?
And what is this sign telling us?
Is it only the specified types of traffic that can do a U-turn at the roundabout, and/or is that the only route they are permitted to take?
Please help. Is this road closed for two days or three days?
I’m not sure why this one is a mixture of words and pictograms. Are cyclists able to read “End”, “Of” and “Route” but not “cycle”?
But wait. It gets more confusing. The post for this sign has a further sticker which indicates that the cycle path doesn’t end at all.
No wonder cyclists don’t use cycle paths – it’s not clear where they start and end.
Let’s move from cyclists to pedestrians, and file this next one under “unnecessary”. A diversion sign is directing pedestrians across, er, what is already a pedestrian crossing.
Speaking of unnecessary, can we call this one “stating the obvious”?
Does this sign, on the M40/A34 junction really mean what it says? When traffic is light (which, mercifully for my passengers, is rare) I do what it says and drive through all lanes. There is a similar badly-worded notice on the entrance to the West Quay Multi-Storey car park in Southampton.
And finally, possibly my favourite reason for travelling on the Waterloo and City line. Transport for London provide the standard line map just in case you’re not sure where your exit station is.