The term “Direction sign” covers both Advance Direction Signs (ADS), placed on the
approach to a junction, and Direction Signs (DS) at the junction itself, showing
where to turn. A DS usually has a chevron (pointed) end, and this type is also referred
to as a flag-type sign. However, a DS may also be rectangular with in an arrow when
it is necessary to indicate a direction other than left or right.
An ADS may be one of four types:
Stack type- with the destinations in each direction on a separate
panel that also contains an arrow;
Map-type – to give a highly clear and simplified diagrammatic plan
view of junction, for example a roundabout.
Dedicated lane – shows the destinations separated by vertical dotted
lines to indicate which lane to use;
Gantry –mounted – for use on busy motor ways and other wide roads
where verge mounted signs would be frequently obstructed by other traffic
An ADS generally has blue, green or white as its background colour to indicate the
status of road (motorway, primary or non-primary) on which it is placed. Except
on the main carriage way of a motorway, coloured panels are used to indicate routes
from the junction being signed that have a different status A DS should always be
a single colour indicating the status of the road to be joined, although there are
a few rare exceptions to this rule.
Destinations are written in mixed case white Transport medium alphabet for green
and blue backgrounds, and in black Transport Heavy alphabet for white backgrounds.
Route numbers are coloured yellow when placed directly on a green background. All
types of ADS (but not DS) may optionally have the junction name at the top of the
sign in capital letters in separate panel.
Bilingual signs are used in Wales and the Scottish Highlands
Welsh highway authorities choose whether they are “English-Priority” or “Welsh –Priority”
and the language having priority in the highway authority’s area appears first on
signs. Most of South Wales in English- Priority while north Wales is Welsh-Priority.
In the Scottish Highlands, road signs are often found with the Scottish Gaelic given
(in green) as well as the English (in black).this seems to be part of the Gaelic
language revival encouraged by many ,including the Bord na Gaidhlig.
Bilingual dual-name signs also exist in the UK on major roads that leave major ports
(such as Dover).They detail in English and French, standard speed limits and reminders
to drive on the left.