Top 20 Baffling British Road Signs


Posted on January 6th, by Andrew Kelsall in Graphic Design. 10 comments

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Apparently, the British government are finally going to have some road signs over here totally axed or redesigned. Some are good, but others are misleading, baffling and confusing to many motorists. The next 20 signs show what some people may think they mean (with a bit of humour). This is especially true if they view them for the first time from overseas…

All vehicles prohibited except pedal cycles sign

1. X-Box Red Ring of Death

What is really means → All vehicles prohibited except pedal cycles being pushed by pedestrians

Horse drawn vehicles likely to be in road ahead image

2. When you’re Jivin’ on your horse & cart in England, be careful

What is really means → Horse drawn vehicles likely to be in road ahead

Horse drawn vehicles prohibited image

3 …but Jivin’ is prohibited on the return trip

What is really means → Horse drawn vehicles prohibited

No through road for vehicular traffic image

4. “I Pity the Fool!”

What is really means → No through road for vehicular traffic

Tourist symbol for Wales only: Tourist attraction recognised by the Welsh Tourist Board image

5. Visit the mother-in-law

What is really means → Tourist symbol for Wales only: Tourist attraction recognised by the Welsh Tourist Board

With-flow bus lane which pedal cycles and taxis may also use ahead image

6. All bikes and vehicles stay in one corner

What is really means → With-flow bus lane which pedal cycles and taxis may also use ahead

Lane control signal indicating that vehicles may not proceed along the lane directly beneath the signal image

7. Punch the bag and see what’s inside

What is really means → Lane control signal indicating that vehicles may not proceed along the lane directly beneath the signal

Risk of grounding at a railway or tramway level crossing or hump backed bridge image

8. Giant moles may pop up under your vehicle at any time

What is really means → Risk of grounding at a railway or tramway level crossing or hump backed bridge

Sharp bends ahead where traffic is diverted onto a temporary road for a short distance image

9. Drive over the tunnel ahead, yes, all three lanes

What is really means → Sharp bends ahead where traffic is diverted onto a temporary road for a short distance

Vehicles may be parked partially on the verge or footway in marked bays image

10. No level or horizontal parking, or else

What is really means → Vehicles may be parked partially on the verge or footway in marked bays

VRoad works or temporary obstruction of the carriageway ahead image

11. Danger of giant umbrellas ahead

What is really means → Road works or temporary obstruction of the carriageway ahead

Direction along a footpath indicated by waymarks image

12. Giant yellow house in field

What is really means → Direction along a footpath indicated by waymarks

Vehicles carrying explosives sign image

13. Attention! Sign makers stating the obvious

What is really means → Vehicles carrying explosives

The number of a route for pedal cycles forming part of a national cycle route network image

14. Giant numbered-boxes floating in nearby lake

What is really means → The number of a route for pedal cycles forming part of a national cycle route network

Ford warning sign image

15. Hazardous for Focus, Fiesta and Mondeo drivers

What is really means → Ford warning sign

Motor vehicles prohibited image

16. No clever stunts please

What is really means → Motor vehicles prohibited

Junction ahead of a primary route with non-primary route through a town or village that has been by-passed image

17. Divert to quirky-named premises before rejoining desired route

What is really means → Junction ahead of a primary route with non-primary route through a town or village that has been by-passed

Water course alongside road ahead image

18. No, your car won’t float so don’t even try it

What is really means → Water course alongside road ahead

Slow moving military vehicles likely to be crossing or in the road image

19. Danger. There’s a frying pan and camping stove on the road ahead

What is really means → Slow moving military vehicles likely to be crossing or in the road

End of designated quiet lane in England image

20. Yes, now feel free to drive loudly again, regardless of horses on the road

What is really means → End of designated quiet lane in England

Graphic Design Blog Divider Image

All these signs, plus many more can be viewed over at the UK Department of Transport.

Do you have any weird road signs in your country? How do they differ from the ones used here in the UK? Please leave comments below…

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10 Responses to “Top 20 Baffling British Road Signs”

  1. Sarah Harris says:

    I love all these road signs! I think my favorite has to be the ones with the horse and buggy, as I’m sure that’s still a common thing! Love the funny comments below each one and its explanation.

  2. Top 20 Baffling British Road Signs | Andrew Kelsall | Creative Designer…

    This article shows 20 British Road Signs that are baffling and mislead people with their messages. Take a look what people may think of them in a humorous way!…

  3. Can certainly understand why some of these would be redesigned or axed altogether Andrew, some crazy ones here!

    Thanks for sharing as ever.

  4. Explain the “quiet lane” to me? We don’t have those in Aus.

    Looks like it means no vehicles, cyclists, horse riding or pedestrians.

    Which leaves……who to use the lane?

  5. Some of those are still mystifying, but the editorial comments are hilarious. I think my favorite is the red circle. Looks like “sign coming soon.”

  6. Sarah and Rebecca → I’m no comedian, but I do try ;) Thanks for commenting.

    Gareth → Of course, you and I are British, so we know what all the main one’s mean, but I don’t envy the tourist from abroad. Yes, I think crazy is the right word to use!

    Andrew → I’ve never come across this sign, but they must be out there somewhere I guess…

  7. Shelagh Mayo says:

    we always remember ‘ man having trouble with umbrella’ and another personal favourite ‘ >>> <<< ' natives are hostile!

  8. Shelagh → Natives: Which part of the UK? Theres a mixed bag of people over here in England ;)

  9. Thanks for the laugh and information! ;) I’m moving from USA to England in a few weeks, can’t wait! Do you have any other posts like this one? Thanks again for all your inspirations and help!

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