Traffic Signs Manual chapter 7 (2013) The Design of Traffic Signs


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Traffic Signs Manual chapter 2013 The Design of 2013
Traffic Signs Manual CHAPTER 7 The Design of Traffic Signs 2013Traf fic Signs Manual Chapter 7 The Design of Traffic Signs Department for Transport Department for Regional Development (Northern Ireland) Scottish Government Welsh Government London: TSOTraffic Signs Manual 2013 Contents of Chapters 1-8 CHAPTER 1 Introduction CHAPTER 2 Informatory Signs * CHAPTER 3 Regulatory Signs CHAPTER 4 Warning Signs CHAPTER 5 Road Markings CHAPTER 6 Illumination of Traffic Signs * CHAPTER 7 The Design of Traffic Signs CHAPTER 8 Traffic Safety Measures and Signs for Road Works and Temporary Situations * To be published Published with the permission of the Department for Transport on behalf of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office. ? Crown Copyright 2003 and 2013 Copyright in the typographical arrangement rests with the Crown. You may re-use this document/publication (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. To view this licence, visit http://www.nationalarchives. or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU; or email: [email protected] ISBN 9780115532221 First published 1997 Fourth edition 2013 Printed in the United Kingdom, for TSO, using material containing 100% post-consumer fibres, FSC? Recycled certified and PCF (Process Chlorine Free) J2741478 C5 07/133 Traffic Signs Manual Chapter 7 CONTENTS 7 7 8 8 8 11 11 13 14 16 18 20 21 21 26 26 29 29 30 1. INTRODUCTION General Working drawings Alphabets Tiles, x-heights and stroke widths Words and horizontal spacing Abbreviations Basic sign design Rounding of sign sizes 2. DESIGN RULES COMMON TO ALL RECTANGULAR SIGNS Types of directional signs Basic principles of colour coding Design of panels and patches Vertical positioning of symbols and patches alongside tiles More than one route number on the same line Destination blocks Two or more destinations with symbols to the left of the legend Distances Indication of alternative routes Junction and place name panels Use of brown tourist attraction panels 7 8 14 3. DIRECTIONAL INFORMATORY SIGNS - GENERAL PRINCIPLES 4 CONTENTS 31 31 35 36 38 40 41 41 42 43 44 44 44 47 48 51 52 54 56 57 58 61 62 64 71 71 72 75 77 78 80 81 4. STACK TYPE ADVANCE DIRECTION SIGNS General design considerations Design of a simple stack type sign Complex stack type sign design Triangular warning signs on stack type signs Regulatory signs on stack type signs Regulatory and warning signs associated with the same destination 5. MAP TYPE ADVANCE DIRECTION SIGNS General design considerations Width of route arms Vertical and horizontal route arms Inclined route arms Design of route symbol stubs Unrelated blocks Design of a map type advance direction sign Major-minor priority junctions on dual carriageway roads Design of map type signs for grade separated junctions on all-purpose roads Map type signs for normal roundabouts Map type signs for roundabouts with priority left turn lanes Map type signs for roundabouts at grade separated junctions Map type signs for mini-roundabouts Map type signs for irregularly shaped roundabouts and gyratory systems Symbols (other than triangular warning signs and regulatory sign roundels) on map type signs Triangular warning signs on map type signs (horizontal and vertical arms) Regulatory signs on map type signs (horizontal and vertical arms) Warning and regulatory signs on map type signs (inclined route arms) Regulatory and triangular warning signs associated with the same destination No through road symbol on map type signs 6. DEDICATED LANE ADVANCE DIRECTION SIGNS General design rules Warning and regulatory signs on dedicated lane advance direction signs 7. DIRECTION SIGNS Flag type direction signs Warning and regulatory signs on flag type signs Rectangular direction signs Traditional fingerposts 31 41 72 77 5 CONTENTS 8. ROUTE CONFIRMATORY SIGNS ON ALL-PURPOSE ROADS Route confirmatory signs indicating a single route 82 83 90 91 93 93 99 101 103 105 110 111 111 112 112 112 113 113 114 115 115 116 116 118 120 122 82 85 90 99 111 116 Route confirmatory signs indicating two routes 9. GANTRY MOUNTED SIGNS ON ALL-PURPOSE ROADS 10. MOTORW A Y SIGNING Motorway panels and junction numbers Direction signs indicating routes with motorway status General design rules for signs on motorways General design rules for signs on motorways 11. DIRECTIONAL INFORMATORY SIGNS - MISCELLANEOUS Cancelled route numbers Diversion route symbols Alterations to existing signs General design considerations Working drawings for directional informatory signs 12. REGULA TOR Y SIGNS Introduction Time of day Day of the week Time of year Combining times, days and dates Supplementary legends Model layouts for waiting, stopping and loading prohibition time plates Model layouts for limited waiting time plates Zone entry signs Other design details Introduction Design of top and bottom panels Design elements for the centre panel Design of diagrams 7201 and 7201.1 Design of signs showing lane changes 13. SIGNS FOR ROAD WORKS 6 CONTENTS 131 132 133 133 134 134 135 136 139 142 147 149 150 151 154 156 14. MISCELLANEOUS DESIGN DETAILS General Distances Adding arrows beneath destinations Lane gain signs Stack type signs with supplementary messages at reduced x-height U-turn arrow on a stack type sign Size and spacing of symbols Use of backing boards APPENDIX A: Diagrams covered by working drawings APPENDIX B: Symbols used on directional informatory signs APPENDIX C: Width of alphabet tiles APPENDIX D: Triangle and roundel sizes on directional signs APPENDIX E: Diagrams covered by section 12 APPENDIX F: Diagrams covered by section 13 APPENDIX G: Directional signs where distances may be expressed in yards INDEX 131 7 1 INTRODUCTION GENERAL 1.1 This chapter of the Traffic Signs Manual describes how sign faces are designed. It does not include the various methods by which signs are constructed and mounted. 1.2 Reference should be made to the appropriate chapter for the use, size and siting of signs (e.g. Chapter 4 for warning signs). For basic sign face layout, including the choice of destinations, in respect of directional signs, reference should be made to Local Transport Note 1 / 94: The Design and Use of Directional Informatory Signs, available from TSO or local-transport-notes. 1.3 Any reference to “the Regulations” or “the Directions” is a reference to the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 and applicable to England, Scotland and Wales. Reference to a “diagram number” is a reference to a diagram in those Regulations. In Northern Ireland the appropriate legislation is the Traffic Signs Regulations (Northern Ireland). 1.4 The Traffic Signs Manual is applicable in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. References to “the Secretary of State” should therefore be interpreted as referring to the Secretary of State for Transport, the Department for Regional Development (Northern Ireland), the Scottish Government or the Welsh Government as appropriate. 1.5 The design rules contained in this chapter apply to new and replacement signs erected on all types of public highway. Where signs are to be provided in accordance with the current Traffic Signs (Welsh and English Language Provisions) Regulations and General Directions, further guidance on the design of the sign faces should be sought from the Welsh Government (see also para 1.12). WORKING DRAWINGS 1.6 Appendix A lists those signs prescribed by the Regulations for which working drawings are available at These drawings, in the “P” series, cover signs which are generally of a fixed design such as triangular warning signs. Certain other signs which have special design rules are also included. Before designing a sign, reference should therefore be made to Appendix A. 1.7 This chapter deals with those signs which are designed for a specific requirement or location such as the directional informatory signs in Parts I, II and X of Schedule 7 to the Regulations. For most of these signs, working drawings have not been provided as it is not possible to include all the relevant design details associated with the permitted variants. 1.8 Section 2 of this chapter sets out the basic design rules applicable to all rectangular signs. Sections 3 to 11 deal with directional informatory signs, section 12 certain regulatory signs (mainly time plates), section 13 temporary signs for road works, and section 14 other sign design matters. 1.9 Appendix B lists those symbols which may be used on the various types of sign included in this chapter. These include both general symbols (e.g. bus, bicycle and aircraft) and those indicating specific tourist and leisure attractions. The designs for these symbols are detailed on working drawings. Further design guidance on the use of symbols is given in section 14. 1.10 Occasionally a sign that is not prescribed by the Regulations may be authorised on behalf of the Secretary of State for placing on a public highway. Where the Department produces a drawing of such a sign for authorisation purposes, the number will be prefixed “NP” (“Non-Prescribed”). Before proceeding with any new design, it should be ascertained whether a drawing is already in existence. Where a sign does not have a working drawing, the designer should follow as closely as possible the design principles set out on the working drawings and in this chapter. Some older non-prescribed drawings prefixed WBM (“Worboys series B - Metric”) will continue to be used for special authorisation purposes until replaced by new drawings. Working drawings for non-prescribed general symbols and tourist attraction symbols are prefixed “NS” and “NT” respectively. All non-prescribed signs must be submitted for special authorisation. 1.11 The Regulations refer to approved tourist attraction symbols. These are shown on drawings prefixed “AT” and may be used without the need for special authorisation (see Appendix B). 1.12 Workings drawings for Welsh and English bilingual signs can be found by following the link at DESIGN RULES COMMON TO ALL RECTANGULAR SIGNS 2 DESIGN RULES COMMON TO ALL RECTANGULAR SIGNS ALPHABETS 2.1 The alphanumeric characters used on traffic signs are from a specially designed alphabet known as the Transport alphabet. There are two versions: Transport Medium for white characters on a green, blue, brown, red or black background (Schedule 13 Part I in the Regulations); Transport Heavy for black characters on a white or yellow background (Schedule 13 Part II). Route numbers on green background signs are yellow and are from the Transport Medium alphabet. Some signs have an orange background and in most cases the characters are black from the Transport Heavy alphabet, but in diagrams 2714 and 2715 white Transport Medium characters are generally used. Transport Heavy characters use a slightly thicker stroke width than Transport Medium characters. 2.2 Light-coloured surfaces, especially when illuminated, irradiate into adjacent darker ones. Thus white characters on a dark background appear thicker than their actual size, whereas black characters on a light background appear thinner. The use of the medium alphabet for white and yellow legends, and the heavy alphabet for black legends compensates for this effect and ensures optimum legibility. 2.3 Most route numbers on motorway signs are from an enlarged Motorway alphabet. Again there are two versions: the standard Motorway alphabet for white characters on permanent blue background signs (Schedule 13 Part III in the Regulations); and the Motorway Black alphabet for black characters on temporary yellow background signs (Schedule 13 Part IV). 2.4 The four alphabets are shown on drawings TM 1, TM 2, TM 3 (TM being Transport Medium), TH 1, TH 2, TH 3 (TH being Transport Heavy), MW 1 (MW being Motorway White) and MB 1 (MB being Motorway Black). These form part of the series of working drawings available at working-drawings-for-traffic-signs (see para 1.6). TILES, X-HEIGHTS AND STROKE WIDTHS 2.5 To ensure correct letter spacing when forming a word, the characters in each alphabet are placed on imaginary tiles. The tiles vary in width, according to the size of the character, and have a fixed height which ensures correct line spacing. All design spaces are measured to the edge of the tiles and not to the actual characters, unless special rules state otherwise. Tile outlines must not appear on the finished sign. 2.6 The size of an alphabet is specified in terms of its x-height. This is the height of the lower case letter “x”, and is the same for both the Transport Medium and Heavy alphabets. The unit of measurement when designing a sign is the stroke width (sw) which is one quarter of the x-height and is not necessarily equivalent to the width of any given character. The dimensions shown in all figures in this chapter are given in stroke widths unless otherwise stated. 2.7 The tile height for any alphabet is twice the x-height (i.e. 8 sw). Thus for an x-height of 250 mm the tile height is 500 mm. For the two motorway alphabets, where there are no lower case letters, the units of measurement are still x-heights and stroke widths. Thus if the x-height of the main sign is 300 mm the tile height for both the Transport Medium and Motorway alphabets is 600 mm. 2.8 Figure 2-1 shows how the characters from the various alphabets are placed on the tiles. It can be seen that the lower case letters without ascenders or descenders are centred vertically on the tiles, leaving an equal gap of 2 sw top and bottom. The capital letters and numerals from the Transport alphabets are 5.6 sw high, with a gap to the top of the tile of 0.4 sw. The characters in the Motorway alphabet are 8 sw high and vertically fill the tile. WORDS AND HORIZONTAL SPACING 2.9 Words are formed by butting the letter tiles together. The tile widths, listed in Appendix C, have been designed to ensure the correct spacing of the letters. However, for certain combinations of letters the tile widths have to be adjusted and these special tile widths are also specified in Appendix C. 2.10 The spacing between two words on the same line is 2.5 sw. Some signs indicate distances (e.g. 100 yards) or time of day (e.g. 8.30 am). Where abbreviations are used for the unit of measurement the normal word spacing of 2.5 sw is reduced. Where dates are abbreviated, such as “15 Sept” or “Feb 98”, the spacing remains at 2.5 sw. Figure 2-2 shows the appropriate horizontal spacing between different elements of the sign and for abbreviated legends. Where two symbols are placed side by side 9 DESIGN RULES COMMON TO ALL RECTANGULAR SIGNS TRANSPORT MEDIUM 0.5x height X Ascender Descender 0.5x Tile height 8 sw 0.6 sw 1 sw Tile width Light letters on Dark
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