Road signs

Cycle lanes

Cycle lanes are principally indicated by signs and markings. They may be either on the road, on pavements either shared with or segregated from pedestrians, or specially designated cycle paths.

Toucan signals

These are special traffic signals, similar to pelican crossings - they have a red man and green man to show when it is safe to cross - but they also have an extra signal, a green cycle. This means that cyclists need not dismount, but can cross over at the same time as pedestrians.

Advanced cycle stop lines

Within ordinary traffic signalled junctions, there are two sets of stop lines on each approach. The one further from the signals is for general traffic, and the one nearer to the signals is for cyclists. This is to give space for cyclists wishing to turn right to safely change from the nearside to the offside.

Contra-flow cycle lanes

When a one-way street is introduced this gives little inconvenience for motorists, but can mean that cyclists have to travel much further. A contra-flow cycle lane lets a cyclist travel against the direction of flow of the one-way street in safety and offers a more convenient and direct route.

The problem is that for a safe contra flow lane, the cyclists must be segregated at each end from the oncoming traffic by a traffic island. This can only be done if the road is wide enough. It may also need to have a parking ban throughout the length of the contra flow lane. This can be difficult in some residential areas with limited off-street parking.

"Plug" No Entry

This is where a road is two way throughout its length except for a short length of one-way working at one end. This means that entry into the road is banned at one end and traffic is only allowed to exit. To assist cyclists, a short gap allows cyclist to travel past the no-entry signs...

Traffic signage

A full catalogue of traffic signage and road markings can be found on the Highway Code website, which includes those that are applicable to cyclists.

Red routes

On certain main roads yellow lines indicating a parking ban have been replaced by red lines. Unlike yellow lines, single and double red lines ban all stopping, parking and loading. Double red lines apply at all times and single red lines usually apply during the working day.

There are limited exceptions to this general rule and they are indicated by signs where they apply.

Red route controls are rigorously enforced by the police and their traffic wardens. They are not enforced by the council's parking attendants.

Examples of red route signage and markings can be found on the Highway Code website.

Road signs

We provide signs in order to give information to the road user.

The Highway Code website gives examples of the most common signs in normal use. Signs fall into certain groups:

  • regulatory signs - signs with red circles.
  • warning signs - mostly triangular.
  • direction signs - mostly rectangular. Destinations and map type.
  • information signs - mostly rectangular.

All signs on the highway must be authorised by us. Special signs are allowed with prior approval of the Department for Transport, or if they are experimental and under trial.

Speed humps

We receive many requests from residents for these to be introduced in their roads to reduce speeds and improve safety. There is usually opposition from the police, fire brigade, ambulance service and bus companies to the use of speed control humps.

The emergency services object because humps increase their attendance times for emergency calls, and thus risk the lives and property of the people. The ambulance service and bus companies object because of the discomfort and possible injury that may be caused to their passengers and the increased wear and tear on vehicles, particularly buses going over speed tables every day.

There are regulations governing the layout of speed control humps. There must be a form of ‘slowing feature’- usually formed by a change of priority (traffic entering the system has to turn sharp left or right into the road, or has to ‘give way’. Sometimes mini roundabouts are used at the start of a system of humps.

The shape of speed control humps are strictly regulated.

Speed control humps can lead to complaints about increased noise and sometimes increased vibration from traffic. They have however been proved to reduce traffic speed and they have been installed in many locations.

Street name plates

We are responsible for ensuring that street name plates are provided and fitted in suitable positions.

We are also responsible for repair and maintenance of street name plates when this becomes necessary either due to accidental damage, vandalism or normal wear and tear.

In the case of a new development however, the developer is responsible for the erection of name plates to our specification.

To report damaged, missing or illegible street names plates please contact us.

Yellow lines

Yellow lines are provided where there is a need to restrict parking to help alleviate traffic flow and to prevent obstructions on the highway.

There are only two types used:

  • double lines usually to mark lengths of road where there is no waiting at any time. However there are exceptions to this and supplementary plates fixed to lighting columns or posts will tell you what the actual restriction is
  • single lines usually indicate a shorter period of restriction such as daytime. Again supplementary plates will show the actual times

Loading restrictions are shown by yellow markings on the kerb and on the supplementary plates.

The Highway Code gives examples of the lines in normal use.

All lines on the highway must be authorised by us. Special lines are allowed with prior approval of the Department for Transport, or if they are experimental and under trial.


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