Britain’s Road Signs Overhaul

For a significant amount of Australia’s history, we have the UK to thank for its large influence on our culture. From our older buildings to their fashion and music, we also see their influence in the road signs we have on our Australian streets. But recently, the Department for Transport (DfT) in the UK initiated an overhaul on the road signs they currently have in place. The scheme aims to de-clutter Britain’s roadsides and even make changes to some of their classic road signs.

With the scheme already taking place, some of the changes being made are already causing debate between UK residents. But one particular change hasn’t got anyone’s heads turning at all.

Re-design of the “Children Crossing” road sign: Before and After











Wait… it looks exactly the same…

This iconic sign underwent a redesign for the first time in 50 years – which is a big deal in England’s rich tradition and history. The DfT was considerate enough to invite original graphic designer from the 1960s was to reinvigorate its look for today’s patrons. But despite the graphic designer’s great efforts to modernise this classic sign, its changes are almost negligible. The minor changes that were made include more distinctive features on the figures, such as more defined hands, feet and a bob haircut. It’s no surprise that many UK residents are confused by the value of its changes to further the safety of local patrons in the area.

But it’s not all bad news for UK taxpayers. The scheme will also include removing signs that have been there far too long – such as for traffic layout changes that were made many months ago. Moreover, the project is estimated to save taxpayers £30 million by 2020, due to reductions in energy usage for illuminating signs. Additionally the DfT in UK is quick to note that these changes and removals for road signs are optional – which is a relief to some UK taxpayers who believe the scheme is a waste of time and money.

Despite the overhaul, the UK’s system of traffic signs have served their local communities well, with the current system having been in effect since the 1st of January 1965. The amount of debate arising from the scheme just goes to show the unconscious value of road and traffic signs in the community.