Road signs

Clear road signs and markings help us to use the roads correctly.

Road signs:

  • give direction
  • help to keep traffic moving
  • keep our roads safe.


Our general maintenance plan covers things such as:

  • cleaning
  • checking electrical safety
  • checking signs are still reflective. We go out at night to check that signs are lit up.

We repair damage or faults within set time limits. For example: we repair unsafe electrical signs within 2 hours and remove obstructions, such as overgrown bushes, when we notice the problem.

Types of road signs

  • Warning signs - draw the driver's attention to possible hazards on the road ahead. This could be where they need to slow down or to highlight something such as a low bridge or a level crossing.
  • Regulatory signs - let drivers know what traffic restrictions there are and help to enforce these restrictions, such as speed-limit signs.
  • Directions signs - show how to get to a place. We decide which place names are put on signs, apart from those on trunk roads and motorways which are dealt with by the Highways Agency.
  • Other information - signs for local facilities, such as recycling sites.

Road sign standards

Standards are applied nationally, but can be changed depending on the needs of different places. In Kent, our standards are different for towns and rural areas and also for minor roads and major roads.

Standards cover things such as:

  • when a sign is needed
  • the size of the sign
  • how the sign is positioned.

Generally, the size and position of signs are based on the speed of the traffic. The higher the speed, the larger the sign.

Other signs

Apply for temporary signs for events

Apply for a brown tourism sign

Highways England is responsible for signs on trunk roads and motorways.

District councils are responsible for some signs, for example road name signs and bylaw notices.