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Highway Code Road Signs – Most Important Signs in the UK

Highway Code Road Signs – Most Important Signs in the UK

by Zutobi · Updated Jan 11, 2021

Traffic signs are important to know by heart as a driver. In the UK, there are many different road signs you need to know, and we’ll go through the most important ones outlined in the Highway Code.

More specifically:

  • Warning signs
  • Signs giving orders

Warning Signs on the Road

Warning signs in the United Kingdom are mostly triangular red-and-white signs. They are used to alert drivers to an unexpected or dangerous road condition or traffic situation, such as a level crossing, steep hill, distance to a give way line, or crossroads ahead. 

Traffic Signs Giving Orders

The laws and regulations reinforced by the regulatory sign apply either at all times or during the specified times mentioned on the sign. They are used to help road users drive safely by reinforcing traffic laws and regulations. Even on the shortest trip, you are likely to spot a number of the more common regulatory signs

Important UK Road Signs

Stop Sign

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The Stop Sign indicates you must come to a complete stop before the sign and give way to all other traffic before proceeding.

Give Way Sign

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The Give Way Sign indicates you must slow down on approach and give way to all other traffic nearing the junction. You don’t have to stop if you are alone on the road.

No Stopping Sign

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The No Stopping Sign tells drivers they must not come to a stop, even momentarily.

No Waiting Sign

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The No Waiting Sign tells drivers that they must not stand for any longer period of time (that can be defined as waiting). However, you may briefly stop to pick up a passenger.

Red Route Sign

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No stopping during period indicated except for buses

 Urban Clearway Sign

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No stopping during times shown except for as long as necessary to set down or pick up passengers

Maximum Speed Limit Sign

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Maximum Speed Limit Sign. Indicates a maximum speed limit of 40 mph. This is the maximum speed at which you may travel under ideal conditions.

Minimum Speed Limit Sign

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Minimum Speed Limit Sign. This sign indicates a minimum speed limit of 30 mph. Do not drive slower than indicated!

End Minimum Speed Limit Sign

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End of Minimum Speed Limit Sign. This sign indicates an end to the minimum speed limit.

National Speed Limit Applies Sign

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The national speed limit in built-up areas is 30 mph, 60 mph on single carriageways, or 70 mph on dual carriageways or motorways. 

No Overtaking Sign

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The No Overtaking Sign tells drivers they must not overtake another vehicle while this sign is active.

No Entry Vehicular Traffic Sign

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Vehicular traffic must not enter where this sign is present. It can, for example, be present on wrong-way motorway entrances.

Do Not Exceed Vehicle Width Sign

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This sign tells drivers they must not drive a vehicle with a width over 2.0m past this point.

No U-Turn Road Sign

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Do not make a U-turn when this sign is present.

Speed Limit Zone Sign

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This sign indicates the speed limit is 20 mph within this zone

Speed Limit Zone Ends

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This sign tells drivers that the 20 mph speed limit zone ends and the speed limit is now 30 mph.

Give Way to Oncoming Vehicles Sign

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This sign tells drivers that they need to give way to oncoming vehicles.

No Through Road Sign

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This sign tells drivers that no vehicles are permitted past this sign.

Sharp bend to the right sign

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Double bend sign (first to the left)

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Double bend sign. The direction of the bend is shown by the first turn.

Crossroads ahead sign

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Crossroads ahead. The broader part of the road has priority at the intersection.

Staggered junction ahead sign

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Staggered junction. The broader part of the road has priority.

T-junction road sign

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T junction with priority over vehicles coming from the right. The priority through route is indicated by the broader line.

Traffic merging from left sign

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Traffic merges onto the main carriageway. The broader line shows the priority through line.

Available width of headroom sign

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The plates indicate the amount of headroom available. These are placed over tunnels.

Road narrows on both sides sign

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Road narrows on right sign

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The road narrows symbol can be reversed. When you see this sign, prepare for other vehicles to merge.

Bicycle warning sign

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Cattle warning sign

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Side winds sign

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Slippery road warning sign

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Steep hill downwards sign

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According to the steep hill downwards sign, the slope decline is 10%.

Steep hill upwards sign

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According to the steep hill upwards sign, the hill incline is 20%.

Swing bridge sign

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Traffic signals sign

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Traffic signals not in use sign

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Tunnel ahead sign

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Two-way traffic ahead sign

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Two-way traffic crosses road sign

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Uneven road sign

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Zebra crossing sign

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Dual carriageway ends sign

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Frail pedestrians warning sign

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Be careful of frail pedestrians crossing the road ahead.

Hump Bridge sign

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Junction on bend ahead sign

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Junction on bend ahead. The bolder line has priority through the intersection.

Level crossing ahead with barrier or gate

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Level crossing ahead without barrier

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Level crossing warning sign

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Level crossing light signals ahead

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Quayside or riverbank sign

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Risk of grounding sign

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Roundabout or traffic circle ahead

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Chevron sign

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This sign warns of a sharp deviation of route in the direction of the chevron. 

Permit Holders Only Sign

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Parking is restricted to permit holders only. Do not park here if you do not have a valid permit.

A Blue Badge Parking Sign

A parking permit for disabled persons is referred to as a Blue Badge. Do not park there without a valid Blue Badge permit.

Trams Only Sign

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Only trams are permitted past this sign.

Buses And Bicycles Only Sign

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Only buses and bicycles are permitted past this sign.

Contraflow Bus Lane Sign

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This sign indicates a contraflow bus lane sign. Do not drive in the bus lane during the times specified under this sign.

Keep Left Sign

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This sign indicates traffic must drive to the left of the sign. 

Pass On Either Side Sign

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This sign tells drivers they may pass on either side of the sign.

One Way Traffic Sign

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The One Way Traffic Sign tells drivers they must only drive in the direction of the sign.

School Crossing Patrol Sign

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This sign tells drivers they are nearing a school or other place where children are likely to cross the road. Look for children crossing the road.

Maximum Vehicle Length Sign

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Vehicles exceeding the vehicle length indicate are prohibited.

No Left-Turn Sign

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This sign tells drivers left turns are prohibited.

No Right-Turn Sign

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This sign tells drivers right turns are prohibited.

Distance to a ‘STOP’ line ahead sign

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Plate indicates the STOP line is in 100 yds.

Distance to ‘Give Way’ line ahead road sign

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Plate indicates the Give Way line is in 50 yds.

Traffic queues ahead sign

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Humps ahead sign

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Plate indicates there will be humps for ½ mile.

Danger ahead sign

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Plate indicates that the danger is a hidden dip on the road ahead.  

Overhead electric cable sign

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Plate indicates the maximum safe height for vehicles. If over this height, choose an alternative route.

Pedestrians on the road ahead sign

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Plate indicates there is no footway for pedestrians to use for 400 yds.

Risk of ice sign

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Soft verges ahead sign

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Plate indicates the road has soft verges for 2 miles.

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