Traffic Signs

Signs giving orders
Signs with red circles are mostly prohibitive.
Plates below signs qualify their messages

20mph Zone Entry signEntry to 20 mph zone
End of 20mph zoneEnd of 20 mph zone
Maximum speed signMaximum speed
National Speed limit signNational speed limit applies
School Crossing SignSchool crossing patrol
Stop signStop and give way
Give way signGive way to traffic on major road
Manually operated stop signManually operated temporary
Manually operated go signSTOP and GO signs
No entry signNo entry for vehicular traffic
No vehicles except bikesNo vehicles except bicycles being pushed
No cyclingNo cycling
No motor vehiclesNo motor vehicles
No Busses signNo buses (over 8 passenger seats)
No overtaking signNo overtaking
No towed caravansNo towed caravans
No vehicles carrying explosiveNo vehicles carrying explosives
No overlength vehiclesNo vehicle or combination of vehicles over length shown
No overheight vehiclesNo vehicles over height shown
No vehicles over width shownNo vehicles over width shown
Give priority to oncoming vehiclesGive priority to vehicles from opposite direction
No right turn signNo right turn
No left turn signNo left turn
No U turns signNo U-turns
No goods vehicles over weight shownNo goods vehicles over maximum gross weight shown (in tonnes) except for loading and unloading
No overwight vehicles signNo vehicles over maximum gross weight shown (in tonnes)
Permit holders only signParking restricted to permit holdersNo WaitingNo waiting
No stopping during periods shown signNo stopping during period indicated except for busesNo stoppingNo stopping (Clearway)
No stopping except to drop off and pick upNo stopping during times shown except for as long as necessary to set down or pick up passengers

Signs with blue circles but no red border mostly give positive instruction.

Ahead onlyAhead only
Turn left ahead signTurn left ahead (right if symbol reversed)
Turn left signTurn left (right if symbol reversed)
Keep left signKeep left (right if symbol reversed)
Vehicles may pass either sideVehicles may pass either side to reach same destination
Mini roundaboutMini-roundabout (roundabout circulation - give way to vehicles from the immediate right)
Pedal cycles route onlyRoute to be used by pedal cycles only
Segregated Pedal cycles and pedestriansSegregated pedal cycle and pedestrian route
Maximum speed signMinimum speed
End of Minimum speed signEnd of minimum speed
Buses and cycles onlyBuses and cycles only
Trams onlyTrams only
Pedestrian crossing point over tramwayPedestrian crossing point over tramway
One-way trafficOne-way traffic
With floaw bus and cycle lane signWith-flow bus and cycle lane
Contra-flow bus lane signContra-flow bus lane
With-flow pedal cycle laneWith-flow pedal cycle lane

Warning Signs

Mostly triangular

Distance to STOPDistance to 'STOP' line ahead
Dual carriage-way endsDual carriage-way ends
Road narrows on rightRoad narrows on right (left if symbol reversed)
Road narrows on both sidesRoad narrows on both sides
Distance to Give WayDistance to 'Give Way' line ahead
Junction on bend aheadJunction on bend ahead
T-junction with priority over vehiclesT-junction with priority over vehicles from the right
Staggered junctionStaggered junction
Traffic merging from leftTraffic merging from left ahead

The priority through route is indicated by the broader line

Double bendDouble bend first to left (symbol may be reversed)
Bend to rightBend to right (or left if symbol reversed)
Uneven roadUneven road
Plate below some signsPlate below some signs
Two-way traffic crossesTwo-way traffic crosses one-way road
Two-way traffic straight aheadTwo-way traffic straight ahead
Opening or swing bridge aheadOpening or swing bridge ahead
Low-flying aircraftLow-flying aircraft or sudden aircraft noise
Falling or fallen rocksFalling or fallen rocks
Traffic signals not in useTraffic signals not in use
Traffic signalsTraffic signals
Slippery roadSlippery road
Steep hill downwardsSteep hill downwards
Steep hill upwardsSteep hill upwards
Tunnel aheadTunnel ahead
Trams crossing aheadTrams crossing ahead
Level crossing with barrierLevel crossing with barrier or gate ahead
Level crossing without barrier or gateLevel crossing without barrier or gate ahead
Level crossing without barrierLevel crossing without barrier
School crossing patrol aheadSchool crossing patrol ahead (some signs have amber lights which flash when children are crossing)
Frail pedestrians likelyFrail (or blind or disabled if shown) pedestrians likely to cross road ahead
Pedestrians in road aheadPedestrians in road ahead
Zebra crossingZebra crossing
Overhead electric cableOverhead electric cable; plate indicates maximum height of vehicles which can pass safely
Available width of headroomAvailable width of headroom indicated
Sharp deviation of routeSharp deviation of route to left (or right if chevrons reversed)
Light signals aheadLight signals ahead at level crossing, airfield or bridge
Miniature warning lightsMiniature warning lights at level crossings
Wild animalsWild animals
Wild horses or poniesWild horses or ponies
Accompanied horses or poniesAccompanied horses or ponies
Cycle route aheadCycle route ahead
Risk of iceRisk of ice
Traffic queues likelyTraffic queues likely ahead
Distance over which road humps extendDistance over which road humps extend
Other dangerOther danger; plate indicates nature of danger
Soft vergesSoft verges
Side windsSide winds
Hump bridgeHump bridge
Worded warning signWorded warning sign
Quayside or river bankQuayside or river bank
Risk of groundingRisk of grounding

Direction signs

Mostly rectangular

Signs on motorways - blue backgrounds

Junction leading directly to motorwayAt a junction leading directly into a motorway (junction number may be shown on a black background)
Approaches to junctionsOn approaches to junctions (junction number on black background)
Route confirmatory signRoute confirmatory sign after junction
Get in lane SignDownward pointing arrows mean 'Get in lane'. The left-hand lane leads to a different destination from the other lanes.
Leave the motorway at next junctionThe panel with the inclined arrow indicates the destinations which can be reached by leaving the motorway at the next junction

Signs on primary routes - green backgrounds

On approaches to junctionsOn approaches to junctions
At the junctionAt the junctionRoute confirmatory signRoute confirmatory sign after junction
On approaches to junctionsOn approaches to junctions
Ring road sign
Primary route ring road
Primary route forming part of a ring road
On approach to a junction (Welsh)On approach to a junction in Wales (bilingual)

Signs on non-primary and local routes - black borders

On junction approach signOn approaches to junctions
On approach to junction sign
At the junction signAt the junction
Direction to toiletsDirection to toilets with access for the disabled

Other direction signs

Picnic sitePicnic site
Ancient monument signAncient monument in the care of English Heritage
Direction to a car parkDirection to a car park
Tourist attractionTourist attraction
Direction to camping and caravan siteDirection to camping and caravan site
Advisory route for lorriesAdvisory route for lorries
Route for pedal cyclesRoute for pedal cycles forming part of a network
Recommended route for pedal cyclesRecommended route for pedal cycles to place shown
Route for pedestrians
Route for pedestrians
Diversion route
Diversion route
Emergency diversion route for motorway
Symbols showing emergency diversion route for motorway and other main road traffic

Information Signs

All rectangular

Entrance to controlled parking zoneEntrance to controlled parking zone
Entrance to congestion charging zoneEntrance to congestion charging zone
End of controlled parking zoneEnd of controlled parking zone
Advance warning of restrictionAdvance warning of restriction or prohibition ahead
Parking place for solo motorcyclesParking place for solo motorcycles
With-flow bus lane aheadWith-flow bus lane ahead which pedal cycles and taxis may also use
Lane designated for use by high occupancy vehiclesLane designated for use by high occupancy vehicles (HOV) - see rule 142
Vehicles permitted to use an HOV laneVehicles permitted to use an HOV lane ahead
End of motorwayEnd of motorway
Start of motorwayStart of motorway and point from which motorway regulations apply
Appropriate traffic lanes at junctionAppropriate traffic lanes at junction ahead
Priority over joining trafficTraffic on the main carriageway coming from right has priority over joining traffic
Main carriageway has priorityAdditional traffic joining from left ahead. Traffic on main carriageway has priority over joining traffic from right hand lane of slip road.
Right lane has priorityTraffic in right hand lane of slip road joining the main carriageway has priority over left hand lane.
motorway countdown markers'Countdown' markers at exit from motorway
Motorway service area signMotorway service area sign showing the operator's name
Traffic has priorityTraffic has priority over oncoming vehicles
Hospital ahead signHospital ahead with Accident and Emergency facilities
Tourist information pointTourist information point
No through road for vehiclesNo through road for vehicles
Recommended route for pedal cyclesRecommended route for pedal cycles
Home Zone EntryHome Zone Entry
Area in which speed cameras are usedArea in which cameras are used to enforce traffic regulations
Bus lane on road at junction aheadBus lane on road at junction ahead

Road works signs

Road worksRoad works
Loose chippingsLoose chippings
Temporary hazard at road worksTemporary hazard at road works
Temporary lane closureTemporary lane closure (the number and position of arrows and red bars may be varied according to lanes open and closed)
Slow moving or stationary works vehicleSlow moving or stationary works vehicle blocking traffic lane. Pass in the direction shown by the arrow
Mandatory speed limit aheadMandatory speed limit ahead
Road works 1 mile ahead signRoad works 1 mile ahead
End of road works signEnd of road works and any temporary restrictions
Sign on slow moving vehicle
Signs used on the back of slow-moving or stationary vehicles warning of a lane closed ahead by a works vehicle. There are no cones on the road
Lane restrictions at road works ahead
Lane restrictions at road works ahead
One lane crossover at contraflow road works
One lane crossover at contraflow road works