A Sign of the Times

Most highway repairs require a full carriageway closure with a signed diversion route to guide road users safely around the works.

For Capital Delivery Framework schemes in Suffolk and Essex, many of the diversion routes are sending vehicles along roads close to residential properties at night.

The majority of these residents accept the disturbance with good grace.  A few may have health concerns or small children and are affected by the noise and contact us to complain.  One of the main problems encountered is that drivers using the diversion route – heavy goods drivers in particular – tend to treat the diversion route as part of the high-speed road network.

In response, Highways England has approved an extended library of signs to be used advising drivers to be mindful of those around them.  These will appear on the familiar temporary black-on-yellow signs.  Often drivers – both local and those passing through – are unfamiliar with what works are taking place, so additional signs on a white-on-blue format advising the benefits of works can also be used.

Finding the balance between giving road users the right level of information and sign-saturation, as well as reaching the right audience in a timely manner, can be a challenge.  These signs are currently being tried out by our CDF team on resurfacing schemes along the A12 between Brentwood and Chelmsford in Essex.

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