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Old June 15th, 2011, 02:27 AM   #2401
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Originally Posted by flierfy View Post
British direction signage is one of the best signage systems in the world. It is aesthetical and informative which is rarely achieved elsewhere on this planet.

British road signage uses several direction signs on gantries. It is, however, rather difficult to mount signs individually in different heights on a gantry. Thus, they create one large grey backed auxiliary sign and place the direction signs in the shape of panels on it.
Clearly its informative and aesthetic value is a very subjective matter, but in my opinion I don't think it ranks particularly highly (I'm talking of motorway signage, the non-motorway signage is fine).

Why use several different signs one above the other? It's ugly and a bit confusing at the same time. The position of the junction (exit) number doesn't seem consistent either and it's not very prominent, which seems odd as the junction numbers are what people commonly refer to rather than the name of the intersecting road.

Personally I find longer and separate arrows for the different lanes and only one signboard, or at least if there are different signs having them placed horizontally, is clearer.

Compare the signage approaching the M23-M25 interchange south of London with the analogous signage approaching the EB Cloete interchange in South Africa:-

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As I said, it's subjective but I think the latter is much clearer.
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Old June 15th, 2011, 12:23 PM   #2402
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But they are not the same. In the UK the slip road has a slip road that leads to Croydon, so you can only go to Croydon from the first lane.
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Old June 15th, 2011, 01:43 PM   #2403
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Old June 15th, 2011, 03:12 PM   #2404
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But they are not the same. In the UK the slip road has a slip road that leads to Croydon, so you can only go to Croydon from the first lane.
They are both 4-level interchanges where the slip/ramp divides, towards Croydon (N) and Brighton (S) in the first example, and Stanger (N) and Port Shepstone (S) in the second.
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Old June 15th, 2011, 04:10 PM   #2405
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They are both 4-level interchanges where the slip/ramp divides, towards Croydon (N) and Brighton (S) in the first example, and Stanger (N) and Port Shepstone (S) in the second.
If the situation really is analogous, then the second sign is terribly confusing, even misleading, in that the sign suggests that one can use either of the two left-most lanes to get to either Stanger or Port Shepstone.

The first sign makes it immediately and completely clear that either of the two left-most lanes can be used to get to Brighton, but only the one extreme left-most lane can be used to get to Croydon.

With the first type of sign, one just has to find one's destination and the corresponding lane arrows are then unambiguous. The second type of sign is clear only for the simplest of intersections.
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Old June 15th, 2011, 04:43 PM   #2406
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The South African sign is less specific of the dedication of the turning lanes while at Merstham Junction it is very precisely signposted which lane gets you where. That's why the British sign is better.

As for the junction number, there is something completely wrong in case of Cloete Junction anyway. The junction before was no. 5 and the next one 13. 165 doesn't make sense at all. So before junction numbers appear prominently on direction signs they need to be a junction numbering system in place that is coherent and plausible.
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Old June 15th, 2011, 05:00 PM   #2407
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Firefly, It's kilometre based like the Spanish system
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Old June 15th, 2011, 09:35 PM   #2408
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I find the British motorway signage similar to the Austrian in that technically it's fine, but there's something about the font sizes/proportions, spacing and positioning of elements that makes it feel cramped and messy.
Some Austrian highway signs are far from clear about which destinations correspond to which arrows. The British signs are better.
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Old June 15th, 2011, 09:38 PM   #2409
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Originally Posted by ed110220 View Post
Compare the signage approaching the M23-M25 interchange south of London with the analogous signage approaching the EB Cloete interchange in South Africa:-

image hosted on flickr

As I said, it's subjective but I think the latter is much clearer.
The British signage separates out the different 'blocks' of destination if you like, and gives precise information about which lanes to use, which is what this junction needs. It also what road you are on, and what road the lane leads to (in brackets), a distinction not often made in continental Europe.

Most junctions do use a simpler form of signage not unlike the South African Example. The reason this 'messy' version is used here is because the left-most lane is an ordinary lane turning into a slip-road, so it's important to emphasize where this lane leads to if you don't move out, rather than where the slip-road leads to.
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Old June 15th, 2011, 09:42 PM   #2410
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To tell the truth, I don't like curved arrows but anyway, I don't find British signage much different from the signage anywhere else in the EU.
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Old June 15th, 2011, 10:22 PM   #2411
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I find the British motorway signage similar to the Austrian in that technically it's fine, but there's something about the font sizes/proportions, spacing and positioning of elements that makes it feel cramped and messy.
I think this is spot on. British signage works, but layout, fonts (which I find overly large and clumsy looking) and, most of all, consistency could be greatly improved.

As an example, I think Dutch signage is certainly superior in this respect. I like the way that route numbers are boxed and the uniformity of the fonts. (By comparison, British signs often look as if they have been proof read by a 7 year old, if at all.)

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Old June 15th, 2011, 10:37 PM   #2412
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I actually find signage on primary A-roads slightly better, with road numbers yellow and destinations white. That this distinction isn't made on motorways is probably down to the fact that there being so few motorways, people tend to treat motorway numbers as 'destinations' in their own right.
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Old June 16th, 2011, 12:51 AM   #2413
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I have no problems with the signs at the motorways in the UK. I think they are quite good. I agree they are a little bit similar to the signs at the motorways in Austria. But I also find them a little bit similar to the signs in France too. I think the signs in the UK are very typical European and easy to understand.

I think the worst signs in Europe at the motorways is the signs in Spain. I think the are just horrible. I can't belive how they could made them like that.
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Old June 16th, 2011, 03:03 AM   #2414
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I have no problems with the signs at the motorways in the UK. I think they are quite good. I agree they are a little bit similar to the signs at the motorways in Austria. But I also find them a little bit similar to the signs in France too. I think the signs in the UK are very typical European and easy to understand.

I think the worst signs in Europe at the motorways is the signs in Spain. I think the are just horrible. I can't belive how they could made them like that.
+1

Why are Swedish people always so logical, open minded and reasonable? I don't mean this is a criticism - it's the highest form of compliment!

But you're right...and I don't get the constant bitching about how bad British signage is. It's simple, well laid out and even though it might not be as aesthetically pleasing as signage from other nations, it gets the job done, so as the old saying goes, "if it ain't broke, why fix it?".

You want confusing...US signage is ******* confusing, case and point that no one here ever seems to know which lane to be in.
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Old June 16th, 2011, 03:04 AM   #2415
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Originally Posted by flierfy View Post
The South African sign is less specific of the dedication of the turning lanes while at Merstham Junction it is very precisely signposted which lane gets you where. That's why the British sign is better.

As for the junction number, there is something completely wrong in case of Cloete Junction anyway. The junction before was no. 5 and the next one 13. 165 doesn't make sense at all. So before junction numbers appear prominently on direction signs they need to be a junction numbering system in place that is coherent and plausible.
The SA signage looks way too "hipster" for me. I don't like all that curvy shit. The British signage may not be as pretty, but it gets the job done, in your face, honest and upfront.
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Old June 16th, 2011, 03:46 AM   #2416
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But you're right...and I don't get the constant bitching about how bad British signage is. It's simple, well laid out and even though it might not be as aesthetically pleasing as signage from other nations, it gets the job done, so as the old saying goes, "if it ain't broke, why fix it?".
I also don't see any problem with British signage. Clear, easy to read, logical. What's the problem folks?? Just because it's different it doesn't mean it is bad
I never got lost. Well, maybe once or twice at the Wandsworth one way system in London, even if I live nearby last couple of years

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You want confusing...US signage is ******* confusing, case and point that no one here ever seems to know which lane to be in.
I don't see any problem with US signage either. I find it actually ludicrously good and logical. Done thousands of miles in US and I honestly think it is one of the best signage in the world. For me way better and more logical than the overrated German one. If people don't know in which line they should be it has more to do with their brains sizes than road markings.
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Old June 16th, 2011, 07:45 AM   #2417
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Originally Posted by ed110220 View Post
Clearly its informative and aesthetic value is a very subjective matter, but in my opinion I don't think it ranks particularly highly (I'm talking of motorway signage, the non-motorway signage is fine).

Why use several different signs one above the other? It's ugly and a bit confusing at the same time. The position of the junction (exit) number doesn't seem consistent either and it's not very prominent, which seems odd as the junction numbers are what people commonly refer to rather than the name of the intersecting road.

Personally I find longer and separate arrows for the different lanes and only one signboard, or at least if there are different signs having them placed horizontally, is clearer.

Compare the signage approaching the M23-M25 interchange south of London with the analogous signage approaching the EB Cloete interchange in South Africa:-

image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


As I said, it's subjective but I think the latter is much clearer.
These UK signs accurately show each direction that can be reached by each lane, but the problem is that they don't tell the driver the sequence of the two splits (first M25/M23 then M23N/M23S). Complex junctions like this - with a lot of lanes, two or more closely spaced splits, and one or more lanes splitting to multiple directions - are really difficult to sign well. I don't think I've seen many if any good examples, usually the signs don't show completely each direction that can be reached by each lane. The driver needs information about the second split, to be in the proper lane, before he reaches the first split, but there is way too much information for a driver to absorb quickly if put all on one sign.

I think it would be better to display the two splits on separate signs, like shown in the crude Paint graphic below. Center the first one over the full roadway followed by the second one placed over the left edge. I'm partial to the clustered-arrow signs like used in South Africa and Australia - I think they're easy to understand and legible at a good distance - but you could also do this with signs having separate arrows over each lane.

image hosted on flickr


By the way, I think the signs in Chris' avatar (page 263 of the NL thread) have the same problem with accurately showing the sequence. To me it looks like exit 2 is before the A2/A9 split but by looking at the distances you can see the exit is actually after the split.
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Old June 16th, 2011, 11:43 AM   #2418
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I think it would be better to display the two splits on separate signs, like shown in the crude Paint graphic below. Center the first one over the full roadway followed by the second one placed over the left edge. I'm partial to the clustered-arrow signs like used in South Africa and Australia - I think they're easy to understand and legible at a good distance - but you could also do this with signs having separate arrows over each lane.

image hosted on flickr

But those for Croydon might think they can use the second lane, only to find otherwise at the last moment and change lane. There isn't much room on the junction for such mistakes.
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Old June 16th, 2011, 03:11 PM   #2419
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I also don't see any problem with British signage. Clear, easy to read, logical. What's the problem folks?? Just because it's different it doesn't mean it is bad
I never got lost. Well, maybe once or twice at the Wandsworth one way system in London, even if I live nearby last couple of years



I don't see any problem with US signage either. I find it actually ludicrously good and logical. Done thousands of miles in US and I honestly think it is one of the best signage in the world. For me way better and more logical than the overrated German one. If people don't know in which line they should be it has more to do with their brains sizes than road markings.
Really, the only problem I have with US signage is that exits are street names, rather than place names (for the most part). This can be confusing if you don't know where you're going. There's also a lack of usage of actual route numbering, but the grid system often makes it easy anyway.
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Old June 16th, 2011, 04:51 PM   #2420
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In urban areas, I don't see how that can be helped: the city limits of Chicago, for example, extend for more than 20 miles north to south. You can hardly have 20 exits marked "Chicago." Yes, there are neighborhood names, but how well known are they? I think marking exits "95th St," then "87th St," and so on is more helpful than using neighborhood names or landmarks like hospitals that the person who knows he needs to get off at 95th St. may not be familiar with. (And hospitals, universities, and so on can still appear on supplemental signage. You know, a sequence like "Exit 346A - South St - 1 mile" - then another sign reading "University of Pennsylvania, Children's Hospital - Exit 346A" - then we're back to "Exit 346A - South St - 1/2 mile"....)

The typical exit sign in a suburban or rural area will have a route number and a couple of towns, perhaps one in each direction.
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