Confusing road signs on the way out
We've all seen them: road signs that just don't make any sense. Whether it's warning of a curve to the right when the road actually goes left, or 'temporary' yellow signs that speak of a 'new road layout' that's been there since the Romans invaded, it's understandable that many Brits have had enough.
Evidently so has the government, with the transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin promising the wage war both on signs that don't add up, and the over-sign-posted culture that's seen bits of the countryside inundated with the reflective bits of metal.
"Too many country roads carry a reminder of how insensitive planners can be to aesthetics," McLoughlin told a conference in London.
"Near me in Derbyshire there's an ugly big sign by a beautiful medieval church that just says: No Footpath. It's on a small country lane. Of course there isn't a path. We don't need a huge sign to tell us that. So I'm determined to do more to sort this out," he said, as quoted on the Daily Mail's website.
McLoughlin's announcement comes after countless surveys revealed that Britons don't understand, or even pay attention to many road signs in the first place.
An infographic by insurance comparison site Confused.com revealed that two thirds of Brits are puzzled by road signs on a daily basis - with one in half choosing to simply ignore those they don't understand. One in 20, meanwhile, admit they never look at the signs in the first place.
Meanwhile, signage in Kentish Town, North London, was revealed to have caused drivers more than £5 million in fines after they misunderstood the "array of nine traffic signs", according to the Evening Standard. A total of 41,000 motorists were caught out by the signs over a five-year period - nearly 22 per day.
London transport officials also came under fire for signage during the Olympics - some of which famously left drivers high and dry, with the choice between illegally driving in either a bus or designated 'games' lane. Others, meanwhile, stated two different dates for road closures, according to the Daily Express.
"Ugly and unnecessary signs clutter up the network," McLoughlin added. "New signs seem to sprout like weeds, without any apparent consideration of what's already there. Often what we're left with is not just a blot on the landscape. It's confusing and potentially dangerous too."