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Old May 21st, 2008, 02:34 PM   #361
ChrisZwolle
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Oh yeah, don't forget to visit uk.rippachtal.de

Lots of pics from user fierfly if i'm correct.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 02:37 PM   #362
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth View Post
This sign is approaching a motorway exit. For Heathrow, stay on the M4. Stay on the motorway and follow signs for the M23, if you want Gatwick. Stay on the motorway and follow signs for the M40, if you want Oxford. Use the exit for the A412 and Maple Cross.
Also the "17" in the bottom left hand corner is the junction number - so this is junction 17 on the M4.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 02:42 PM   #363
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Chriszwolle - generally when driving on the British road network it's all about route numbers rather than destinations. So to get from A to Z it's a case of remembering, say, A45-B5667-A33-B4677 and following signs for those roads, rather than following a direction sign which has the destination name on. I think it's in part because there are so many destinations in our densely built country that this is done. A road sign could easily become quite long with place names!



Keeping it simple!
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Old May 21st, 2008, 02:47 PM   #364
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But how about those 4-digit numbers? Those aren't that easy to remember for foreigners or people not known to the area.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 02:50 PM   #365
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
About that too regional signage, i found these pics posted by me earlier in the thread.

This is the M6, one of the most important axis in the United Kingdom. However, only small towns are signed, no sign of Birmingham or even Liverpool or Manchester.
It's not something i'd ever thought about before I read this thread but yes, maybe major cities should be signposted in preference to the local/regional towns.

I think that the signs assume that most people on the road know that the M6 travels from the Scottish border to Liverpool/Manchester and then on to Birmingham so they signpost smaller destinations.

Clearly this might not be so good for somebody who is totally unused to the British motorway network but this probably isn't as much of a problem here as on the continent. If you are driving in the UK it's because your destination is in the UK, there is no transit traffic because we are at the edge of Europe. In, say, Bavaria on the other hand, there will be Danes driving to Italy, Czechs driving to France, Swiss driving to Poland, Italians driving to The Netherlands etc so it is more important to sign major cities to give people a general idea of where they are heading
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Old May 21st, 2008, 02:50 PM   #366
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Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
But how about those 4-digit numbers? Those aren't that easy to remember for foreigners or people not known to the area.
I don't think our system is designed for international travel and foreigners... Especially from Europe, with our left driving, miles...
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Old May 21st, 2008, 02:50 PM   #367
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Most people have a map, Chris. Britain is incredibly dense for the most part and has big cities everywhere. As Manchesterplanner says, the road signs would get very long if they were all listed!

Most people know vaguely where their destination city is so when you see "M1 NORTH" and know you're in London and want to get to Birmingham it's usually a good guess that you'd want to go North.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 02:55 PM   #368
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
But how about those 4-digit numbers? Those aren't that easy to remember for foreigners or people not known to the area.
No, but they are usally small roads, how are very small roads numbered in other countries? Surely there are far too many to all have 1, 2 or 3 digit numbers?
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Old May 21st, 2008, 02:57 PM   #369
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Yeah, B roads in the UK are local roads, usually in the countryside. They mostly have four digit codes, apart from a few three digit ones (in London mainly). They generally look like this:

http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/287097

The B5062 in Shropshire (Jonesy's county!)

Found a nicer one, which has been resurfaced recently:

http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/245677

The B4379, also in Shropshire
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Old May 21st, 2008, 02:59 PM   #370
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If we go to the UK again, we probably would be using a Tomtom. In the past however the UK signs we found out that UK signs were a problem. A large city is clear, using a road number only is risky, because you can go both ways.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 03:04 PM   #371
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I think this debate demonstrates the differences between driving in Britain and in continental Europe! It's more than just miles v km, left v right - the signage is different and the way people go about journeys is different too. And of course we use the "A" letter for major classic roads rather than motorways (which we give "M" lettering to). We also love the dual carriageway, which is to all intents and purposes a motorway, but without the hard shoulder and with green rather than blue signs! (Though saying that, most dual carriageways do have a small hard shoulder, or at least a grass/gravel strip down the side. I'm sure many of our dual carriageways would be classed as motorways in a lot of European countries.)
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Old May 21st, 2008, 03:06 PM   #372
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
In my opinion, they show a few too much road numbers. It's not always clear which road you're on (look at the first motorway pic). Also, the roadnumbers appear too large in my opinion. Besides that, i think destinations are choosen too regionally, in other words, they don't always sign major cities far away. Since there are a lot of major cities in the UK, it's not always clear how to take a route to Birmingham from the north for instance.
But you're looking at that photo on the internet, which someone else posted up. If you were actually there, it should be apparent to you that you're already on the M4. You not liking the size of the numbers is more an aesthetic, rather than funtional issue. The whole point of the system is that you follow the number and its control destinations. When I leave Liverpool, the M62 tells me that St Helens, Warrington and Manchester are coming up. It doesn't sign Leeds, even though it eventually goes past Leeds. Once you get to Manchester, it signs Leeds, and other places in Yorkshire. Yes, it is assuming I know that Yorkshire is the other side of Manchester, but so what? If you've such a poor knowledge of UK geography, you should use an atlas. Likewise, if I want to drive to London, there are no signs on the M62, however, I already know that I need the M6. When I arrive at that interchange, you're instructed to get into lane. The three options are leave for the M6 North to Preston, leave for the M6 South to Birmingham, or stay on the M62 for Manchester. It's immediately apparent to me that M6 South Birmingham is the option to take. If I was going to Yorkshire, I'd know to stay on the motorway. If I wanted Scotland, I'd know M6 North Preston was the option to take, without any of these places being signed. If your knowledge of UK geography doesn't allow you to know that Birmingham is on the way to London, if you're travelling from Liverpool, then you really should plan beforehand. Road signs are merely to assist you in your navigation, not be your navigation. Okay, you can argue that it would be easier for me to be told, as soon as I leave Liverpool, where London is in relation to me at each stage, but that doesn't help me if I want to go to Milton Keynes, of Beford, or St Albans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
However, i don't think the UK signage is that bad. One of the most important things to me is that "signage is meant for those unknown to the area/system, not for those driving there regularly". So signage has to be clear instantly to someone unknown to the area.
I don't see the beef. I'd never drive abroad relying purely on the road sign system. I'd have already pre-planned what numbered routes I was going to take. It's the same if I was going to a small town off some secondary road, in a part of the UK I'm unfamiliar with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
Of what i've heard from Dutch road meetings at signage factories, they say the British gantry's (overheads and signage structure) are by far the unsafest due to their massiveness, and their often concrete poles. I don't know wether it's true, but it were experts saying that.
Another way of looking at it is that their mass aids their visibility, which helps with safety. I've never heard of such things falling down, even in gales. There's always two ways of looking at something.

Last edited by Gareth; May 21st, 2008 at 05:45 PM.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 03:17 PM   #373
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manchester Planner View Post
Yeah, B roads in the UK are local roads, usually in the countryside. They mostly have four digit codes, apart from a few three digit ones (in London mainly). They generally look like this:

http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/287097

The B5062 in Shropshire (Jonesy's county!)

Found a nicer one, which has been resurfaced recently:

The B4379, also in Shropshire
I like this one, it's labelled "nothing of interest on the B5063"



The B5063 is not far from the B5062, I guess that could be confusing but I don't go by the road numbers here and major cities like Wem and Whitchurch are clearly signposted
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Old May 21st, 2008, 03:19 PM   #374
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
About that too regional signage, i found these pics posted by me earlier in the thread.

This is the M6, one of the most important axis in the United Kingdom. However, only small towns are signed, no sign of Birmingham or even Liverpool or Manchester.
[img]http://i17.************/4v3idg0.jpg[/img]

My proposition (i used a German style program, but don't think i want German style signs )
[img]http://i19.************/4r0bzfr.png[/img]
Your photographic example clearly tells me that that stretch of the M6 is not far south of Carlisle and the Scottish border. It's also apparent by the 'The South' legend, that I'm going south and not north. Therefore, I automatically know that I'm going in the right direction for Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham & London. Again, if your geographic knowledge is not telling you that at that point, Liverpool, London, Paris, Barcelona, Addis Ababa & Cape Town are in front of you and that Carlisle, Glasgow, Thurso & Reykjavik are behind you, then you should plan ahead with a road atlas. If you want to pander to people who have no geographical knowledge of the UK, signing Liverpool and Manchester aren't going to help people who want Stockport, Blackburn, Chester and Southport.

By the way, we do have route confirmation signs like the one you made. Liverpool and Manchester are signed on the M6 quite a way north and south of the M62 interchange, just not that far north. You'll get signs for Preston first.

Last edited by Gareth; May 21st, 2008 at 03:43 PM.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 03:22 PM   #375
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...major cities like Wem and Whitchurch are clearly signposted


Oh Shropshire..!
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Old May 21st, 2008, 05:28 PM   #376
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Hi all,

I've driven a great deal in the UK and (nearly) always found the signposting to be very clear.

The one real exception that I came across to this, where everything broke down and entered a kind of surreal signpost hell, was trying to navigate my way off the Coventry ring-road to the M40. I worked in Coventry for over a month and for the first few days I found myself going round and round, trying to work out which was the correct exit.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 05:43 PM   #377
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Few people ever escape Coventry, you should count yourself lucky!
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Old May 21st, 2008, 05:49 PM   #378
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The system isn't perfect, but where it does get complicated is more in urban areas, rather than on motorways and long distance roads. My only bugbear with M6 signing is that it instructs Liverpool-bound traffic from the north, to change onto the M58, even though for much of the city, the M62 is better. I'm not sure if this is to try and add some relief to those parts of the M6/M62, whereas the M58 & M57 are very quiet, but anyone who knows the area will know that for central Liverpool, the M62 is better.
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Old May 21st, 2008, 05:56 PM   #379
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I still think not signing Manchester and Liverpool there is quite ridiculous. On the continent we (I do though) don't even know major road numbers, let alone minor ones, and you don't see it always written on maps, especially minor ones, whereas you even have small towns written on maps (at least those with normal scale). If I asked my friends or family how the most important highway(s) here were designated, I don't think they'd have a clue.

Chris, how did you enlarge the pic?
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Old May 21st, 2008, 06:06 PM   #380
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I don't see why it's vital to sign Manchester and Liverpool in the very far north of England, just south of the Scottish border. They are miles away. Like I said, they are signed once you get within about 50 miles, so large cities do get some precidence. Again, if you're just south of the Scottish border, it should be apparent that Liverpool is in front of you, not behind. I really do thing numbers benefit more people than just big cities.
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