HL Deb 09 February 1998 vol 585 cc138-9WA
Viscount Tenby

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What steps they are taking to remind highway authorities of their obligation to remove road repair signs immediately work has been completed; and what sanctions are available to deal with highway authorities who fail to remove road signs once the relevant work has been completed. [HL417]

Baroness Hayman

The statutory requirements for removal of road works signs are specified in Direction 31 of the Traffic Signs General Directions 1994. Contractors working on trunk roads (for which the Secretary of State is highway authority) are required to operate in accordance with Chapter 8 of the Traffic Signs Manual. This specifies that temporary signs must be removed when the conditions to which they refer no longer apply. Chapter 8 is also generally followed by local highway authorities (and roads authorities in Scotland), although not statutorily binding. We intend to remind local authorities as well as statutory undertakers that signs and other equipment should be removed when road and street works are completed, when departmental advice is updated. The Secretary of State has powers under Sections 69 and 70 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 to direct a local traffic authority to remove a traffic sign, and to remove it himself if the local authority does not comply; however, we would not normally consider it appropriate to issue such a direction in respect of temporary road works signs. Any person who believed that a failure to remove signs had caused personal injury or damage could seek redress through the courts.