In a letter to local authorities, Mr McLoughlin said the pointless road signs should be taken down to improve sight lines and improve the look of the countryside. Officials estimate that there are around 9,000 unnecessary on England’s roads.
The Department for Transport has published new traffic signs advisory guidance to give local authorities with hints of how to remove pointless signs, such as yellow “at any time” signs above double yellow lines which have been obsolete since 2002.
Officials published a list of the worst examples including a sign, which said, “This sign is not in use” and another which warned, “Danger. Slippery puddle”. A third example, taken from the M27 motorway, advised motorists: “No Right Turn for next 10m except at next junction and at Rufus Stone”.
Mr McLoughlin encouraged councils to follow the example of London, which has ripped out 8,000 repeater signs, which remind motorists they are on a red route and 4,000 poles over the past two decades. In Hampshire 200 traffic signs have been taken away along a 12 mile stretch of the A32 while Somerset has also done away with a further 1,000 signs.
In his letter Mr McLoughlin said, “As well as spoiling otherwise beautiful areas of the country, cluttered streets can also be confusing for drivers and pedestrians, affecting safety.
“Many traffic signs, traffic signals and road markings are simply not needed. I strongly recommend that you identify, review and remove unnecessary traffic signs on a regular basis as a cost effective means of improving the environment.”