Motorists Versus Cyclists, Part 324

Wed 14th Jul 2021

The ongoing battle between motorists and cyclists shows no signs of stopping, with a recent campaign supposedly demonstrating that car drivers don’t understand some of the most widely used road signs.

A poll conducted by #BikeIsBest found that 50 per cent of driver were unfamiliar with the ‘no motor vehicles’ signage, with almost a third believing that it meant ‘cars and motorcycles only, no trucks’.

There has been an influx of ‘no motor vehicles’ signage following the introduction of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods across the nation. The areas where cars are banned to reduce air pollution, with roads blocked off by planters and in some cases councils using ANPR technology to catch drivers entering the zones. The #BikeIsBest campaign has called for clearer and ‘more obvious’ signage to to help motorists better understand what ‘no motor vehicles’ actually means, despite the fact the sign has been in use since 1964.

some frustrations with Low Traffic Neighbourhoods could relate to the lack of public “Understanding of the required signage, leading to penalty charge notices. Although road users should keep up to date with the Highway Code, research from 2019 showed that one in five motorists haven't referred to it in a decade", said #BikeIsBest. 

"Alternative signs for Low Traffic Neighbourhood restrictions are not currently available. The No Entry sign with an exception for cycles can be used as a contraflow for one-way streets; most streets within LTNs remain two-way and full access is maintained via alternative routes.

"It is not currently possible to put ‘except permit holders’ with a No Entry sign, which low-traffic neighbourhoods may need. The reason the Department for Transport limits exceptions to the No Entry restriction is to preserve the high level of compliance with such a safety-critical sign; the more exceptions a prohibition sign has, then the greater likelihood there is of drivers making an ‘assessment’ to ignore it."

Figures published in The Times this week revealed that there have been some 250,000 fines generating £14m for vehicles driving in Low Traffic Neighbourhoods in London over the last 12 months.