AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth

Thousands of unnecessary signs are being pulled down on the UK's roads.

More than 9,000 traffic signs will be removed from major and residential roads in a bid to reduce clutter.

London is ripping out 8,000 repeater signs and 4,000 poles installed on its roads in the early 1990s, while in Hampshire 200 traffic signs have been taken away along a 12-mile stretch of the A32. Somerset has also done away with a further 1,000 signs.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin is urging more local authorities to follow suit, and has published a guide on how to remove signs in the most cost-efficient ways possible.

Dana Skelley, director of Roads at Transport for London, said: "Unnecessary street clutter can make the journeys of all road users awkward, regardless whether they are motorists, cyclists or pedestrians, and can dissuade people from visiting local areas."

The biggest decluttering is in the capital where 8,000 repeater signs are being torn down. These signs reinforce the meaning of the restriction imposed by the double red lines – "no stopping".

Shaun Spiers, chief executive of Campaign to Protect Rural England, added: "Individual signs may be added with the best intentions but before long can sprout into a forest of clutter that degrades our countryside and distracts drivers.

"Rather than being hectored by health and safety signs alerting of any possible risk, people driving on rural roads should be encouraged to expect to share minor rural roads with a range of other road users."