SCOTTISH TRUNK ROAD AND MOTORWAY TOURIST SIGNPOSTING - POLICY REVIEW
The current Trunk Road and Motorway Tourist Signposting Policy was launched in 1998. A number of issues have arisen over the intervening period and changes have taken place because of updated Traffic Signs Regulations & General Directions. As a result a commitment was given by the Executive to a review of the Trunk Road & Motorway policy. Key issues identified through the Review process that have been addressed in the draft policy document include:
- the inclusion of golf courses (including championship golf courses) within the list of tourist attractions and facilities that qualify for tourist signposting from trunk roads;
- tourist signs to retail establishments to be permitted on motorways where the establishment is an accredited "Tourist Shop" and meets the rest of the policy requirements;
- the requirement for visitor number criteria on motorways have been relaxed to achieve a balance between the needs of tourists, tourism operators and the safety and environmental factors associated with signing on motorways;
- the provision of a "one-stop shop" for tourism operators, by the introduction of the 'Home Traffic Authority' concept whereby the roads authority providing direct access to the tourist facility will co-ordinate any application for tourist signposting rather than have the applicant deal with a number of different roads authorities.
Attached is a copy of the final consultation draft of the new policy document and would welcome any comments you may have on this. I should be grateful if you could send your comments and the attached Respondent Information Form by 30 January 2006 to:
Barry AspinallStandards, Traffic and Environment Branch
Trunk Road Infrastructure and Professional Services
Please note that the document is also available on the Executive's website at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/consultations.
Yours sincerely Information on your consultation/Invitation to respond
Standards, Traffic and Environment
Responding to this consultation paper
We are inviting written responses to this consultation paper by 30 January 2006. Please send your response to:
Barry.Aspinall@scotland.gsi.gov.uk Standards, Traffic and Environment Branch
Trunk Road Infrastructure and Professional Services
If you have any queries contact Barry Aspinall on 0131 244 0159
We would be grateful if you could clearly indicate in your response which questions or parts of the consultation paper you are responding to as this will aid our analysis of the responses received.
This consultation, and all other Scottish Executive consultation exercises, can be viewed online on the consultation web pages of the Scottish Executive website at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/consultations. You can telephone Freephone 0800 77 1234 to find out where your nearest public internet access point is.
The Scottish Executive now has an email alert system for consultations ( SEconsult: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/consultations/seconsult.aspx). This system allows stakeholder individuals and organisations to register and receive a weekly email containing details of all new consultations (including web links). SEconsult complements, but in no way replaces SE distribution lists, and is designed to allow stakeholders to keep up to date with all SE consultation activity, and therefore be alerted at the earliest opportunity to those of most interest. We would encourage you to register.
Handling your response
We need to know how you wish your response to be handled and, in particular, whether you are happy for your response to be made public. Please complete and return the Respondent Information Form as this will ensure that we treat your response appropriately. If you ask for your response not to be published we will regard it as confidential, and we will treat it accordingly.
Nevertheless all respondents should be aware that the Scottish Executive are subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and would therefore have to consider any request made to it under the Act for information relating to responses made to this consultation exercise.
Next steps in the process
Where respondents have given permission for their response to be made public (see the attached Respondent Information Form), these will be made available to the public in the Scottish Executive Library by 27 March 2. We will check all responses where agreement to publish has been given for any potentially defamatory material before logging them in the library or placing them on the website. You can make arrangements to view responses by contacting the SE Library on 0131 244 4565. Responses can be copied and sent to you, but a charge may be made for this service.
What happens next ?
Following the closing date, all responses will be analysed and considered along with any other available evidence to help us reach a decision on any amendments that are required to the document. We aim to issue a report on this consultation process in March 2006.
Comments and complaints
If you have any comments about how this consultation exercise has been conducted, please send them to
Address:Standards, Traffic and Environment Branch
Trunk Road Infrastructure and Professional Services
RESPONDENT INFORMATION FORM: Scottish Trunk Road and Motorway Tourist Signposting Policy and Guidance
Please complete the details below and return it with your response. This will help ensure we handle your response appropriately. Thank you for your help.
THE SCOTTISH EXECUTIVE CONSULTATION PROCESS
Consultation is an essential and important aspect of Scottish Executive working methods. Given the wide-ranging areas of work of the Scottish Executive, there are many varied types of consultation. However, in general, Scottish Executive consultation exercises aim to provide opportunities for all those who wish to express their opinions on a proposed area of work to do so in ways which will inform and enhance that work.
The Scottish Executive encourages consultation that is thorough, effective and appropriate to the issue under consideration and the nature of the target audience. Consultation exercises take account of a wide range of factors, and no two exercises are likely to be the same.
Typically Scottish Executive consultations involve a written paper inviting answers to specific questions or more general views about the material presented. Written papers are distributed to organisations and individuals with an interest in the issue, and they are also placed on the Scottish Executive web site enabling a wider audience to access the paper and submit their responses 1. Consultation exercises may also involve seeking views in a number of different ways, such as through public meetings, focus groups or questionnaire exercises. Copies of all the written responses received to a consultation exercise (except those where the individual or organisation requested confidentiality) are placed in the Scottish Executive library at Saughton House, Edinburgh (K Spur, Saughton House, Broomhouse Drive, Edinburgh, EH11 3XD, telephone 0131 244 4565).
All Scottish Executive consultation papers and related publications (eg, analysis of response reports) can be accessed at: Scottish Executive consultations ( http://www.scotland.gov.uk/consultations)
The views and suggestions detailed in consultation responses are analysed and used as part of the decision making process, along with a range of other available information and evidence. Depending on the nature of the consultation exercise the responses received may:
- indicate the need for policy development or review
- inform the development of a particular policy
- help decisions to be made between alternative policy proposals
- be used to finalise legislation before it is implemented
Final decisions on the issues under consideration will also take account of a range of other factors, including other available information and research evidence.
While details of particular circumstances described in a response to a consultation exercise may usefully inform the policy process, consultation exercises cannot address individual concerns and comments, which should be directed to the relevant public body.
Main changes from 1998 Policy
The following table indicates the main changes from the 1998 Trunk Road and Motorway Tourist Signposting Policy along with a short statement of reasons for the proposed change.
Old Policy Ref
New Policy Ref
1.6, Chapter 15, Annex A, Annex B
Concept of 'Home Traffic Authority' introduced and application process simplified.
Clarification of design, manufacture and installation requirements.
A major criticism of the existing policy was that the application procedure was complex with operators having to apply separately to each local authority and trunk road operator for signs. The aim is to provide a 'one-stop shop' whereby the application is co-ordinated by the 'Home Traffic Authority'.
Definition of Tourist destination in line with TSRGD 2002.
To be consistent with legislation.
SOID 3/1992 para. 3.2.1
Tourist signs to retail establishments now permitted on trunk roads and motorways but only in certain circumstances.
In recognition of the fact that certain retail establishments are in existence mainly to serve the tourist trade, it is now proposed to permit tourist signing from motorways as well as trunk roads. However, signing will only be permitted where the establishment is an accredited 'Tourist Shop'.
5.8 - 5.11
Tourist signs on Motorways through Greater Glasgow - no new signs unless a significant case for them
The motorway network through Glasgow (particularly the M8) is special in that it runs through a densely populated urban area. There is very little scope for locating additional traffic signs and therefore, it is proposed that special consideration should be applied to applications for tourist signs in this area.
Park and ride sites
With a likely increase in the numbers of park and ride sites in Scottish towns and cities, it is proposed that careful consideration be given to signing visitors to these sites rather than individual tourist attractions.
SOID 3/1992 para. 3.2.3
Visitor number criteria (motorways only)
Relaxations for historical or cultural attractions of national importance.
Seasonality measure (10,000 visitors in the peak month)
Projected visitor numbers allowed.
Relaxations for signing multiple destinations within a town, city or geographical area.
The existing visitor number criterion was criticised for being too prescriptive. The proposed policy seeks to achieve a balance between the needs of tourists, tourism operators and the overriding safety and environmental factors associated with signing on motorways. It is not envisaged that it will significantly increase the number of tourist signs on motorways as the high costs of providing such signs will still be a disincentive to the smaller tourist destinations.
Environmental Impact - additional consultation requirements in National Parks, Areas of Great Landscape Value and Conservation Areas.
It was considered appropriate to clarify that consultation with appropriate bodies should be carried out before approving signs in sensitive areas.
Symbols - clarification on use of symbols
An attempt has been made to simplify the guidance given on the use of symbols on tourist signs on Trunk Roads and Motorways.
The preference for the use of the 'thistle' symbol is retained.
Some criticism was received that existing signs often contained more than one thistle symbol which was not useful. Therefore, some guidance on sign design is given.
Signs to accommodation may be permitted on trunk roads within towns/villages (subject to local policy).
It is recognised that signs to hotels and B&Bs can provide very useful information to drivers looking for overnight accommodation. Therefore, it is proposed that the signing of these premises is permitted from the trunk road provided that it is consistent with the local authority signposting policy.
Clarification of Local Facilities signing.
Specific guidance on the use of these signs.
Signs for 'local facilities' to diagrams 2308.1 and 2309.1 are not tourist signs and the destinations do not need to be recognised (or QA approved) by VisitScotland. However, signs to diagrams 2328 and 2329 are tourist signs the destinations should be recognised by VisitScotland (and QA approved where appropriate).
Collective signing of tourist attractions
- Clarification on use of diagrams 2215 and 2927
To clarify the use of signs to diagrams 2215 (All-purpose roads) and 2927 (Motorways) and to bring policy in line with TSRGD 2002.
Clarification of signing of NTRs and trails from trunk roads and motorways.
National Parks - signs to be considered on merit in consultation with National Park Authority, Visit Scotland and SNH (where appropriate).
Since Scotland now has 2 national parks, both with trunk roads passing through them, this issue is now addressed.
Sign Design guidance
Some guidance is now provided on design issues and common pitfalls associated with tourist signs.
Explanation of how excess signing demand will be dealt with
This states clearly the way in which excess signing demand will be dealt with.
Clarification of maintenance liabilities.
1.1 Scotland, with its wide range of unique assets of many different kinds, is very popular with visitors and locals alike, many of whom travel by car. Therefore, providing clear tourist signs to these assets is a very important aspect of making a visit in Scotland as pleasurable as possible.
1.2 This policy document contains guidance on the provision of tourist destination signs (white lettering on a brown background) on the all-purpose and motorway trunk road network in Scotland (see Figure 2.1).
1.3 This document replaces the 1998 Trunk Road and Motorway Tourist Signposting Policy  and Scottish Office Industry Department Circular 3/1992  which are both now withdrawn.
1.4 Reference should also be made to Scottish Office Development Department Circular 27/1995  which gives guidance on the provision of tourist signs in general in Scotland. Paragraphs 18.1 and 18.2 in SODD Circular 27/1995 are superseded by this document.
1.5 Local authorities are responsible for developing tourist signposting policies for their own roads and this document should be read in conjunction with the relevant local authority policies.
1.6 The objective of this policy is to provide guidance on signs appropriate to meet the strategic needs of the tourism industry and road users in general, and which is consistent with safe and efficient traffic management and with minimal impact on the environment.
1.7 In this document, the term "Home Traffic Authority" refers to the traffic authority for the road which provides the main direct access to a tourist destination.
1.8 In this document, the term "trunk road authority" means the Scottish Executive or any successor agency responsible for the trunk road network as defined in the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984 .
1.9 The trunk road authority gives responsibility for certain aspects of policy implementation to the contractors who manage the operation of the trunk road on a day-to-day basis. For the purposes of this document the contractors who manage the trunk road in this way are referred to as 'trunk road operators'.
1.10 In this document, 'VisitScotland' means VisitScotland or any successor organisation.
1.11 In this document, the term "Tourist Information Centre" means a manned and fully operational information service centre managed directly or by agreement with VisitScotland.
1.12 In this document, the term "Diagram xxxx" refers to the correspondingly numbered diagram in Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions ( TSRGD) .
Figure 1.1 - Trunk road network in Scotland
2. DEFINITION OF A TOURIST DESTINATION
2.1 A tourist destination means a permanently established attraction or facility which:
(a) attracts or is used by visitors to an area; and
(b) is open to the public without prior booking during its normal opening hours; and
(c) is recognised by VisitScotland
2.1.1 . Tourist attractions include visitor centres, theme parks, historic buildings and properties, ancient monuments, museums, zoos, parks and gardens, natural attractions (such as nature reserves, beaches and viewpoints), tourist shops, sports centres, golf courses (including Championship courses), concert venues, theatres and cinemas.
2.1.2 . Tourist facilities include hotels, guesthouses, bed & breakfast establishments, restaurants, holiday parks, touring and camping parks, picnic sites, youth hostels and Tourist Information Centres.
2.1.3. These are not exhaustive lists but give an indication of the types of establishments in each category.
2.2 Establishments which are primarily retail outlets (including retail parks, shopping centres and garden centres) will only be eligible for white on brown tourist signs if the destination is recognised by VisitScotland as a 'Tourist Shop' through its visitor attraction quality assurance scheme. Applications will still need to meet all the other relevant criteria in order to be eligible for tourist signs.
3. SIGNING POLICY CONSIDERATIONS
3.1 The Scottish Executive, as trunk road authority, is responsible for the safety of the public travelling on trunk roads and motorways in Scotland.
3.2 The purpose of tourist signs is to provide clear and consistent directions for visitors enabling them to reach their destination safely and minimising the likelihood of drivers making dangerous manoeuvres. This is an important factor in road safety and reduces the problems that visitors may face when trying to find their way in an unfamiliar area.
3.3 It is recognised that tourist signposting is a key tool in traffic and visitor management. Signs can be used to direct visitors to tourist destinations and Tourist Information Centres where they can find out more about places to visit. Visitors can be directed to use particular routes or to avoid particularly sensitive locations. It must be stressed that tourist signs are not advertising signs and are not a substitute for effective marketing.
3.4 To be eligible for tourist signing, all tourist destinations (attractions and facilities) must be recognised by VisitScotland. In addition, the tourist destination operators must be members of the relevant VisitScotland Quality Assurance scheme, where one exists.
3.5 Approval of tourist signs by the trunk road authority will be conditional on the removal of the tourist operators' existing advertising signs where these are considered to be a distraction to the trunk road or motorway user.
3.6 Eligibility does not confer automatic entitlement to tourist signs. Several other considerations must be taken into account including existing sign provision; availability of space for new signs and; road safety considerations. Each application will be considered on its merits and the final decision for signs on the trunk road and motorway network will rest with the Scottish Executive.
Cross boundary signing
3.7 It is important that there is consistency and continuity of tourist signing across the trunk road and local road networks. In particular, there must be continuity across local administrative boundaries. Tourist signing will only be provided from the trunk road or motorway network if the local roads authorities have approved signing to the destination on the local road network (unless the destination is accessed directly from a trunk road or motorway).
3.8 Consideration must be given to the environmental impact of tourist signs and the need to have regard to the character of the surrounding landscape when considering the location of tourist signs as well as the need for signs. Sign proliferation must be avoided.
3.9 White on brown tourist signs are traffic signs and must comply with TSRGD and the guidance for its use. Signs should also comply with the design guidance given in the Traffic Signs Manual  and related documentation.
Park and Ride Services
3.10 Where a dedicated park and ride service is available, careful consideration will be given to whether visitors should be directed to individual tourist destinations or directed to use the park and ride facilities.
3.11 Adequate parking for cars (and where appropriate, coaches) should be provided at the attraction, or adequate public parking should be available in the vicinity and the local roads authority should confirm that these parking facilities are suitable for use by visitors to the tourist attraction.
4. SIGNING CONTINUITY AND EXTENT
4.1 There must be continuity of signing from the first sign to the destination. A tourist destination will only be signed from the trunk road or motorway if continuity signing has been or will be provided on the local road network until the destination is reached. The route onto which traffic is being directed must be the most suitable link from the trunk road or motorway to the destination.
4.2 The distance from a tourist destination to the point at which it is first signed on the trunk road will depend upon its location and any traffic management requirements.
4.3 Signing will normally only be permitted to a tourist destination which is within 12 miles of the trunk road or 20 miles of the motorway junction (see also paragraph 9.5). In exceptional circumstances, signing may be permitted to destinations in rural areas at greater distance.
4.4 The signing of tourist destinations within Towns/Important Settlements as defined by the relevant local authority's tourist signposting policy is subject to special consideration. The Trunk Road Authority will take account of factors such as road safety, road layout, existing signing and traffic management and will only approve such tourist signing where the operation of the trunk road network will be adversely affected by the lack of such signing. Signs will only be permitted where there will be no conflict with the local authority tourist signposting policy. There will be a general presumption against providing signs on the trunk road network for destinations within cities.
Signs from destination back to trunk road/motorway
4.5 Having found the tourist destination, visitors should be able to find their way back to the trunk road or motorway. In some circumstances, it may be appropriate to provide additional signs (for example if there are different routes to different trunk roads/motorways from the attraction). Such signs should be standard directional signs and should not be white on brown tourist signs.
5. ADDITIONAL CRITERIA FOR TOURIST SIGNING FROM MOTORWAYS
5.1 This chapter details additional criteria which apply to tourist signing applications on Motorways.
5.2 In order to be eligible for tourist signs on the motorway network, tourist attractions should normally have received at least 50,000 visitors in each of the previous three years. Note that there is no visitor number criterion for signs on all-purpose trunk roads.
5.3 Tourist attractions which do not meet the annual visitor number criterion may be considered for tourist signs from the motorway if the number of visitors in the peak month exceeds 10,000.
5.4 Where a tourist attraction is not yet opened and visitor numbers are only projections, the trunk road authority may, at its discretion, allow the use of projected visitor numbers for assessing signing eligibility.
5.5 Achieving the required visitor numbers does not confer automatic entitlement to tourist signs - other factors will also need to be considered.
5.6 At the discretion of the trunk road authority, the visitor number criteria may be relaxed for historical or cultural attractions of national importance. This will only be done after consultation with VisitScotland and, where relevant, Historic Scotland and/or Scottish Natural Heritage.
5.7 For the collective signing of tourist destinations within a town, city or geographical area (see Chapter 11), the trunk road authority may allow the visitor number criterion to be relaxed for each individual destination that meets the basic eligibility criteria as set out in Chapter 3.
Motorways through Greater Glasgow
5.8 In recognition of the special problems associated with the situation of the motorways in Greater Glasgow, special conditions apply to the provision of tourist signs on these roads.
5.9 In order to avoid sign overload, there will be a presumption against any additional new tourist signs being permitted on these roads in favour of normal direction signing.
5.10 However, where a tourist attraction can demonstrate a significant case on the grounds of traffic management and/or road safety and there are suitable locations to erect signs, consideration may be given to allowing tourist signs.
5.11 When considering the specific case, the trunk road authority will take into account visitor numbers, percentage of visitors from outside the area, access arrangements and any difficulty in finding the attraction amongst other factors. It is expected that only destinations which attract several hundreds of thousands of visitors, mainly from outside the Greater Glasgow area will be able to demonstrate a significant case. Such attractions will still need to meet the basic eligibility criteria.
5.12 Tourist signs to tourist facilities will not be permitted from the motorway network.
5.13 Where an all-purpose A-class road forms the extension of a motorway (eg A8/M8 or A9/M9) and there is a junction to the attraction on the all-purpose road nearer to it than any junction on the motorway, the attraction will be signed from the all-purpose road rather than the motorway, even if the end of the motorway is within the 20 mile overall distance limit.
6. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
6.1 New tourist signs, in conjunction with other traffic signs, can have a cumulative detrimental impact on the environment. This is particularly the case in conservation and rural areas where signing can have more of a visual impact on the character of the area. Also, the effects of proposed new signs on their surroundings need to be considered whatever the location and it is important that the environmental impact of new signs is minimised as far as is consistent with their intended purpose.
6.2 In environmentally sensitive areas such as National Parks, Areas of Great Landscape Value and conservation areas, the impact of new signing needs special consideration. Therefore, before approving tourist signs in such areas, the trunk road authority will require the HTA to consult with the National Park Authority, Scottish Natural Heritage, Historic Scotland and/or the local planning authority where appropriate.
6.3 Where either a consultee or the trunk road authority considers that a proposed sign is likely to be visually or environmentally intrusive, the trunk road authority reserves the right to refuse the application or require the applicant to amend the layout and wording of the sign in order to reduce its visual and environmental impact. However, the x-height of the sign legends should not be reduced below the minimum given in Local Transport Note ( LTN) 1/94 .
7. TOURIST INFORMATION
7.1"Tourist Information Centre" ( TIC) means a manned and fully operational information service centre managed directly or by agreement with VisitScotland.
7.2 At TICs, basic information should also be available outwith opening hours. It is particularly useful to provide details of hotels and B&B establishments for visitors arriving in the evening.
7.3 TICs shall be signed with the "i" symbol to Diagram T1 in Schedule 14 of TSRGD. The symbol may be supplemented with the legend "Tourist Information Centre".
7.4 On all-purpose roads, other forms of tourist information requiring signs ( e.g., tourist information points or notices in laybys and car parks) may use the "i" symbol with the legends "Local Information", "Tourist Information" or "Local Tourist Information" as appropriate.
7.5 On motorways, only TICs can be signed using the 'i' symbol and then only in conjunction with signing another tourist attraction.
Figure 8.1 - Examples of minimum use of thistle
8.1 Although several symbols are prescribed in TSRGD for use on tourist signs in Scotland, there is a general preference in favour of using the "Thistle" symbol to Diagram T301.1 in Schedule 14 of TSRGD.
8.2 The general policy is that only those attractions which are accredited by VisitScotland through its Quality Assurance schemes should be signed with white on brown signs (see para. 3.4). With this in mind, the 'Thistle', as a symbol of quality, should be used wherever the destination is accredited through a VisitScotland QA scheme.
8.3 On signs to facilities such as restaurants, light refreshment facilities, accommodation, caravan or camp sites etc. the 'thistle' symbol should be used in preference to the specific symbols shown in Diagrams T4 to T12 of Schedule 14 of TSRGD.
8.4 In the case of properties under the care of Historic Scotland ( HS), the National Trust for Scotland ( NTS) or the Forestry Commission ( FC), the thistle symbol may be supplemented or replaced with the appropriate symbol for HS, NTS or FC as defined in Diagrams T302, T303 and T304 respectively of Schedule 14 of TSRGD. When two symbols are used, the HS, NTS or FC symbol should be half the size of the thistle symbol.
8.5 On single attraction signs for a castle or house of historic or architectural interest, the 'thistle' symbol may be supplemented or replaced with the appropriate symbol as defined in Diagrams T2 and T3 of Schedule 14 of TSRGD. On composite signs which include a castle of house of historic or architectural interest, the 'thistle' symbol may be replaced with the appropriate symbol for such properties.
8.6 On composite signs containing two or more destinations, the number of 'thistle' symbols should be minimised. In most cases, the 'thistle' symbol will relate to all of the destination legends on a sign. In such cases, it should be possible to design the sign such that only one 'thistle' symbol is used (see Figure 8.1).
8.7 Figure 8.2 shows the symbols which can be used on general tourist signs on trunk roads and motorways in Scotland. Figure 8.3 shows the additional symbols which may be shown on signs to Diagrams 2328 and 2329 (see Chapter 10).
Figure 8.2 - Symbols for use on general tourist signs on trunk roads and motorways in Scotland
Figure 8.3 - Symbols for use only on Diagrams 2328 and 2329
9. TOURIST ACCOMMODATION AND EATING ESTABLISHMENTS
Figure 9.1 - Examples of signs to accommodation and eating establishments9.1 All accommodation and eating establishments should be signed with the "thistle" symbol to Diagram T301.1, Schedule IV of TSRGD (see Chapter 8).
9.2 Signs to eating establishments and tourist accommodation will not normally be provided where the facility is located within a town or village boundary. If the town or village is bypassed by the trunk road then local facilities signs may be provided (see Chapter 10).
9.3 Where the facility is within a town or village but is difficult to find or where there is a demonstrable traffic management need, signing may be provided at the discretion of the trunk road authority. However, such signing will only be permitted where this does not conflict with the local authorities tourist signing policy.
9.4 In any case, there will be a presumption against signing facilities within towns or villages which are accessed directly from the trunk road.
9.5 Tourist signs will normally only be permitted to tourist accommodation and eating establishments within 6 miles of the trunk road.
10. SIGNING TO LOCAL FACILITIES
Figure 9.2 - Local facilities sign to Diagram 2308.1Local Facilities
10.1 Local facilities signing to Diagrams 2308.1 and 2309.1 may be provided to direct motorists to facilities in small towns and villages which are close to the trunk road. These are not tourist signs and therefore, the destinations do not need to be recognised by VisitScotland.
10.2 Signs to Diagram 2308.1 (see Figure 9.2) can only be used where fuel, parking, public toilets and refreshment facilities are available and therefore must include the "fuel" symbol and the "refreshment facilities (teacup)" symbol.
10.3 Signs to Diagram 2308.1 may also include symbols for "toilets ( WC)", "tourist information (i)", "restaurant (spoon and fork)" and "accommodation (bed)". The wheelchair symbol may be added only when the WC symbol is shown.
10.4 The direction sign to Diagram 2309.1 should include only the place name and/or the legend "local facilities" and/or the distance. No symbols should be used.
10.5 As an alternative to local services signs to Diagrams 2308.1 and 2309.1, white on brown signs to Diagrams 2328 and 2329 can be provided to direct visitors to a small town or village not on the main through route. They indicate that the town or village has tourist information and accommodation accredited by VisitScotland.
10.6 Destinations included on signs to diagrams 2328 and 2329 should meet the basic criteria for tourist signposting eligibility. However, due to the nature of these signs, the use of the "thistle" symbol is not required.
10.7 The use of these signs on motorways is not permitted.
10.8 Diagram 2328 and 2329 can only be used where there is a tourist information centre and at least one other tourist destination. Therefore, the signs must include the "i" tourist information symbol plus at least one other tourist destination.
10.9 Diagram 2328 may include the following (see Figure 10.1) :
(i) A descriptive phrase of up to 4 words (such as 'historic market town')
(ii) The legend "Hotels and B&B" or "Hotel" or "B&B". If any of these legends is used, the sign (and any direction signs) must also include the bed symbol to Diagram T12 of Schedule 14 of the TSRGD.
(iii) Up to 4 symbols where the legends "Hotels and B&B" or "Hotel" or "B&B" and the descriptive phrase are included
(iv) Up to 5 symbols where either of the legends "Hotels and B&B" or "Hotel" or "B&B" or the descriptive phrase are omitted
(v) Up to 6 symbols where both the legend "Hotels and B&B" or "Hotel" or "B&B" and the descriptive phrase are omitted.
10.10 Diagram 2329 does not permit the use of the legends "Hotel", "B&B" or "Hotels and B&B".
10.11 Where communities will be bypassed as a result of trunk road improvements, the cost of providing such signs will be met by the trunk road authority. The trunk road authority will also fund alterations to existing bypassed community signs where such alterations result from changes to the TSRGD. However, the trunk road authority will not fund alterations to signs where this is required due to any changes to services in the bypassed community.
10.12 Where facilities signs to Diagrams 2308.1, 2309.1, 2328 or 2329 exist on the trunk road, signing to individual facilities within or associated with the town or village will not be permitted on the trunk road.
Figure 10.2 - Examples of different possible layouts for Diagram 2328 and 2329.
Includes descriptive phrase
Hotel and/or B&B
up to 4 symbols
(must include i and bed symbols)
Does not include descriptive phrase
Hotel and/or B&B
up to 5 symbols
(must include i and bed symbols)
Includes descriptive phrase
Does not include Hotel or B&B
up to 5 symbols
(must include i symbol)
Does not include descriptive phrase
Hotel or B&B
up to 6 symbols
(must include i symbol)
11. COLLECTIVE SIGNING OF TOURIST DESTINATIONS WITHIN TOWNS
All-purpose trunk roads
Figure 11.1 - Example of Diagram 2215 - for use on all-purpose roads11.1 On trunk roads, signs to Diagram 2215 (see Figure 10.2) may be used to sign a town or area containing several attractions provided that each tourist attraction qualifies individually for the provision of tourist signing
11.2 Such signs may be used to sign qualifying tourist attractions in a town/city or geographical area reached from the next junction
11.3 The maximum number of tourist attractions on signs to diagram 2215 must not exceed five (see also paragraphs 13.2 to 13.6).
11.4 The use of a descriptive legend (such as "historic market town") is not permitted on any part of signs to Diagram 2215.
11.5 The use of symbols T10 (light refreshments), T11 (restaurant) and T12 (hotel or other overnight accommodation) is not permitted on signs to Diagram 2215.
Figure 11.2 - Example of Diagram 2927 - for use on motorways11.6 On motorways, signs to Diagram 2927 (see Figure 10.3) may be used provided that each tourist attraction qualifies individually for the provision of tourist signing (although the visitor number criterion may be relaxed - see para.5.7).
11.7 Such signs may be used to sign qualifying tourist attractions in a town/city or geographical area reached from the next junction.
11.8 The maximum number of tourist attractions on signs to diagram 2927 must not exceed three (see also paragraphs 13.2 to 13.6).
11.9 The town/city/geographical area must have a Tourist Information Centre as defined in Chapter 7.
11.10 The use of a descriptive legend (such as "historic market town") is not permitted on any part of signs to Diagram 2927.
11.11 The use of symbols T4 (picnic area), T5 (youth hostel), T6 (caravan park), T7 (camping site or park), T10 (light refreshments), T11 (restaurant) and T12 (hotel or other overnight accommodation) is not permitted on signs to Diagram 2927.
12. NATIONAL TOURIST ROUTES, TOURIST TRAILS AND GEOGRAPHIC AREAS
Figure 12.1 - National Tourist Routes
National Tourist Routes and Tourist Trails
12.1 National tourist routes ( NTR) and tourist trails are not deemed to be tourist destinations. There are currently 12 NTRs (see Figure 12.1) and the creation of further NTRs and tourist trails is a matter for VisitScotland who will liaise with the trunk roads authority with regard to signing on trunk roads.
12.2 Where possible, national tourist routes and tourist trails should utilise the local road network and should not normally follow trunk roads except where a route or trail must, of necessity, start, partly include, or cross a trunk road.
12.3 Signing of national tourist routes or tourist trails on trunk roads must be approved by the trunk road authority. Where a national tourist route or tourist trail interfaces with, or is close to a trunk road, appropriate signing will be permitted.
12.4 National tourist routes and tourist trails will be signed using signs to Diagrams 2210, 2211, 2212, 2213 and 2214 in TSRGD using the thistle symbol.
12.5 There are no prescribed signs for national tourist routes and tourist trails for use on motorways. However, there may be circumstances where it is desirable to direct tourists off the motorway network on to NTRs or tourist trails and in these circumstances, special authorisation may be given for signs directing tourist traffic off the motorway. In such circumstances, the trunk road authority will consult with VisitScotland and the local roads authority before granting special authorisation.
12.6 Direction and boundary signs to National Parks will be considered by the trunk road authority on merit and in consultation with the relevant National Parks Authority, VisitScotland and where appropriate, Scottish Natural Heritage.
Other Geographic areas
12.7 Direction signs to areas that are marketed under a collective theme ( e.g., attractions with literary or historic connections) or within a geographic area will not normally be signed unless recognised by VisitScotland.
12.8 It should be noted that boundary signs for geographic areas such as national parks are not prescribed in TSRGD and would require special authorisation by Scottish Ministers.
13. SIGN DESIGN GUIDANCE
13.1 The primary objective of this guidance is to achieve a balance between assisting tourists, minimising environmental intrusion and maintaining safety (by preventing an overload of information on a sign). The driver should be able to safely read and understand the information on the sign whilst passing at normal speed. This chapter is aimed primarily at sign designers and supplements information given in LTN 1/94  and in Chapter 7 of the Traffic Signs Manual .
13.2 When following the principles in LTN 1/94 on the maximum number of destinations that it is advisable to include on any one sign, it should be borne in mind that tourist destinations often have longer names than other destinations and this will be a constraint on the number of destinations that can sensibly be included.
13.3 Lengthy tourist destination names will require larger signs. The wording may have to be shortened or abbreviated at the discretion of the trunk road authority. If the name cannot be shortened, this will further constrain the maximum number of destinations that can be included on a sign.
13.4 The maximum number of words permitted on a single destination sign shall be four.
13.5 The number of lines of text describing a single tourist destination is limited to two.
13.6 The maximum number of lines of text on any sign is limited to eight.
13.7 The x-height of legends on any sign must always be appropriate for the 85th percentile approach speed of private cars at the proposed sign location. Drivers must be able to read and understand the signs at normal approach speeds otherwise the signs could present a hazard. Therefore, the guidance in LTN 1/94 (Annex A, paragraph 2) shall be followed even in environmentally sensitive areas where there can be pressure to reduce the x-height. On composite signs, the x-heights for all destinations must always be the same.
13.8 Where more than one tourist destination is signed in advance of a junction, they should be incorporated together on one set of signs. Not more than one tourist sign or composite sign shall be permitted on any approach to a junction. Where there are more tourist destinations than can be accommodated on the signing, the trunk road authority will make the final decision on which destinations are to be signed in consultation with VisitScotland.
13.9 In accordance with LTN1/94 (paragraph 3.3.1), "Brown tourist attraction panels shall not be used on motorway signs on the approach to intermediate junctions. Where tourist attraction signing is approved, separately mounted brown signs shall be provided, normally at _ and _ miles in advance of junction. Brown panels may be provided on the advance direction signs on exit slip roads and where the motorway ends at a roundabout as an alternative to separately mounted brown signs should space constraints preclude the use of separate signs."
13.10 The sequence of advance direction signs ( ADSs) observed by the driver on a motorway should normally be as follows:
(a) Main ADS (1 mile from junction)
(b) Tourist ADS
(c) Main ADS (1/2 mile from junction)
(d) Tourist ADS
(e) Final main ADS
13.11 The two tourist ADSs must be identical and must be to Diagram 2924 or 2927 (see Chapter 11).
13.12 Tourist ADSs to Diagram 2924 and 2927 do not include the distance to the junction.
13.13 The use of distances to destinations on motorway tourist signs is not permitted by TSRGD  (except on Diagram 2926 - 'Junction ahead from a motorway exit slip road').
All-purpose trunk roads
Figure 13.1 - Example of variable sign to diagram 220913.14 Tourist signing shall, wherever possible, be kept separate from trunk road direction signing (green and white signs). Brown tourist attraction panels shall only be used in exceptional circumstances where space constraints preclude the provision of separate signing. Sign designers should note that only tourist destinations and tourist information centres should be included on tourist signs. Local towns and other local destinations should always be signed using the appropriate coloured direction signing.
13.15 Tourist ADSs to Diagram 2202 do not include the distance to the junction.
13.16 Tourist signs on all-purpose roads should normally include the distance to the destination.
13.17 A flag type direction sign should normally be preceded by an ADS.
13.18 Tourist destinations with direct access from an all-purpose trunk road may not need signing if the entrance is visible and identifiable from a distance that allows vehicles to approach it safely. However, in many cases, especially on high speed roads with a speed limit of 50mph or more, ADSs followed by flag-type direction signs at the entrance may be needed to guide traffic safely to the destination.
13.19 If a tourist destination is closed for part of the year, consideration should be given to the use of variable signs ( i.e. flap-type or rotating plank) so that the legend would only be visible during the period when the destination is open. Diagram 2209 allows the distance to be varied to "CLOSED" or additionally to show the opening times (see Figure 13.1). The operation and maintenance of such signs shall be carried out by the trunk road authority but the costs of this may be borne by the tourist destination operator(s).
13.20 The trunk road authority shall determine the location of all tourist signs within the trunk road and motorway network.
13.21 Where the trunk road authority considers that a proposed tourist sign conflicts with the interests of road safety due to its size and/or location, it reserves the right to refuse the application.
13.22 Signs may require additional safety fencing. Reference should be made to the current standard for road restraint systems.
14. EXCESS SIGNING DEMAND
14.1 For safety purposes, it is important that individual signs are not overloaded with information. For any given speed of vehicle and legend x-height, there is only a limited quantity of information that can be safely read by the driver. The maximum number of tourist destinations per sign is discussed in Chapters 11 and 13.
14.2 Priority for tourist signing on the trunk road and motorway network will be given to tourist destinations with the greatest traffic management or road safety needs and which cannot be reached simply by following signs to a town or city on their address.
14.3 If there are more than the maximum recommended number of eligible tourist destinations than can be accommodated on the signs, each with similar traffic management and safety needs, the trunk road authority will make the decision as to which destinations should be signed after consulting with the relevant local authorities and VisitScotland.
14.4 Where existing signing cannot accommodate any additional destinations, a new applicant will be required to demonstrate a stronger justification for signing than at least one of the destinations currently signed. The trunk road authority will then decide, in consultation with the relevant local authorities and VisitScotland, which destinations should continue to be included on a new or amended sign. The full cost of revising the signing, including any compensation payable to the operators of destinations removed from existing signs, shall be met by the successful applicant.
15. APPLICATION PROCEDURE
15.1 This policy document introduces a new 'seamless' application process which will benefit Scottish tourism and the administration of tourist signposting policy.
15.2 The "Home Traffic Authority" ( HTA) means the traffic authority for the road which provides the main direct access to a tourist destination. For a destination with its access directly on to a local road, the HTA will be the relevant local road authority. For a destination with its access directly on to a trunk road, the HTA will be the trunk road authority.
15.3 Applications for all tourist signing shall be made to the HTA.
15.4 The HTA shall be responsible for liaising with all other relevant authorities (including VisitScotland) and for obtaining any necessary approvals from these authorities.
15.5 The HTA does not decide what is signed in other traffic authorities' areas nor does it provide the signs. The purpose of the HTA is to provide a seamless process to the applicant. It will need the agreement of the other relevant traffic authorities before signs can be erected in their areas.
15.6 Since the HTA is the co-ordinator of the application process, the information required of applicants by the trunk road authority (if any signs are proposed for trunk roads and/or motorways) should be included within the HTA forms. Annex B gives a standard application form to be used for trunk road/motorway applications.
15.7 If an application for the provision of tourist signs is refused by the trunk road authority in full or in part, the applicant shall be given a clear and succinct explanation of the reasons. The trunk road authority's decision regarding signing on the trunk road and motorway network is final.
15.8 If a proposed sign is not prescribed by TSRGD (including permitted variants), the HTA will need to consider whether an alternative design complying with TSRGD could be used instead or whether there is a case for applying to Scottish Ministers for special authorisation.
16. FINANCIAL AND OTHER ARRANGEMENTS
16.1 The general principle is that all tourist signing is provided at the expense of the applicant and the trunk road authority should incur no financial burden in providing tourist signing on the trunk road and motorway network other than for ongoing maintenance.
16.2 The applicant will be responsible for the cost of providing the traffic signs including the design, manufacture, supervision of works, posts and fittings, concrete, erection, traffic management, lane rental charges (if applicable) and safety fencing (if required).
16.3 Once the signs have been installed, they come under the strict control of the trunk road authority. No alterations to signs can be made without the consent of the trunk road authority.
16.4 The trunk road authority will be responsible for routine maintenance of the signs including cleaning and the operation of variable flaps or covers.
16.5 The applicant(s) will be responsible for the costs of replacement of the signs when they reach the end of their serviceable life. The trunk road operator, on deciding that a sign needs to be replace, will inform the HTA that the sign requires replacing. The HTA will then make an assessment of whether the previous application is still relevant, after which it will approach the tourist destinations involved for payment for a new sign or for a new application if it is required.
16.6 A specific agreement must be made between the trunk road authority and the applicant prior to the installation of approved tourist signing. Where the signs are being promoted by a group of individuals, VisitScotland or a Local Enterprise Company, a nominated person or organisation will be required to sign the agreement with the trunk road authority on behalf of the promoting group. Model letters of agreement are attached at Annex C.
16.7 Signs may be modified, replaced or removed by the trunk road authority at any time for traffic management, safety or other reasons. If it becomes necessary to remove the signing to a destination within the first five years (for any reason other than the closure of the destination), the applicant will be entitled to make a claim for re-imbursement of trunk road sign installation costs on a pro-rata basis for the outstanding period. After this initial five year period, no compensation will be payable.
16.8 VisitScotland will regularly alert HTAs and the trunk road authority to destinations which are no longer eligible for signs.
16.9 Signs will not normally be altered or removed by the trunk road authority without giving prior notice to the original applicant(s) and VisitScotland.
16.10 Applicants should be advised that the costs of providing tourist signs on trunk roads and on motorways (due to large sign sizes and safety fence requirements) can be very high.
16.11 The HTA will collect the funds from the applicant and be responsible for distributing these to any other relevant authorities.
16.12 Each HTA will have separate processes for the design of signing schemes. Some authorities will require that the design is carried out in-house whilst others will require designs to be carried out by approved consultants. The applicant should check the detailed requirements with the relevant HTA.
Manufacture and Installation
16.13 The approved signs must be manufactured in accordance with BS 873  by a sign manufacturer approved by the HTA.
16.14 Whilst the HTA is responsible for co-ordinating the design and approvals process, it is the responsibility of each individual local authority to arrange for erection of signs within its boundaries. In the case of signs on Trunk Roads and Motorways, the signs must be installed by an approved contractor in liaison with the trunk road operator.
1. Trunk Road and Motorway Tourist Signposting Policy, May 1998. The Scottish Office, 1998
2. Tourist Signposting. SOID Circular 3/1992, The Scottish Office Industry Department, 1992
3. Tourist Signposting. SODD Circular 27/1995, The Scottish Office Development Department, 1995
4. The Roads (Scotland) Act 1984.
5. Statutory Instrument 2002 No. 3113. The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002. The Stationery Office. ISBN 0-11-042 942-7
6. Traffic Signs Manual, Chapter 7 - The Design of Traffic Signs. The Stationery Office. ISBN 0-11-551 700-6
7. Local Transport Note 1/94. The design and Use of Directional Informatory Signs. July 1994. HMSO. ISBN 0-11-551 610-7.
8. Road traffic signs and internally illuminated bollards. BS873 . London: British Standards Institution.