Highway code road signs

Highway Code Road Signs – Most Important Signs in the UK

Zutobi
by Zutobi · Updated Sep 29, 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

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

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

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

No Waiting Sign

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

No stopping during period indicated except for buses

 Urban Clearway Sign

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

Maximum Speed Limit Sign

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

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

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

National Speed Limit Applies Sign

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

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

No Entry Vehicular Traffic Sign

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

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

No U-Turn Road Sign

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

Speed Limit Zone Sign

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

Speed Limit Zone Ends

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

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

No Through Road Sign

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

Sharp bend to the right sign

Double bend sign (first to the left)

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

Crossroads ahead sign

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

Staggered junction ahead sign

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

T-junction road sign

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

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

Available width of headroom sign

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

Road narrows on both sides sign

Road narrows on right sign

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

Bicycle warning sign

Cattle warning sign

Side winds sign

Slippery road warning sign

Steep hill downwards sign

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

Steep hill upwards sign

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

Swing bridge sign

Traffic signals sign

Traffic signals not in use sign

Tunnel ahead sign

Two-way traffic ahead sign

Two-way traffic crosses road sign

Uneven road sign

Zebra crossing sign

Dual carriageway ends sign

Frail pedestrians warning sign

Be careful of frail pedestrians crossing the road ahead.

Hump Bridge sign

Junction on bend ahead sign

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

Level crossing ahead with barrier or gate

Level crossing ahead without barrier

Level crossing warning sign

Level crossing light signals ahead

Quayside or riverbank sign

Risk of grounding sign

Roundabout or traffic circle ahead

Chevron sign

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

Permit Holders Only Sign

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

Only trams are permitted past this sign.

Buses And Bicycles Only Sign

Only buses and bicycles are permitted past this sign.

Contraflow Bus Lane Sign

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

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

Pass On Either Side Sign

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

One Way Traffic Sign

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

School Crossing Patrol Sign

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

Vehicles exceeding the vehicle length indicate are prohibited.

No Left-Turn Sign

This sign tells drivers left turns are prohibited.

No Right-Turn Sign

This sign tells drivers right turns are prohibited.

Distance to a ‘STOP’ line ahead sign

Plate indicates the STOP line is in 100 yds.

Distance to ‘Give Way’ line ahead road sign

Plate indicates the Give Way line is in 50 yds.

Traffic queues ahead sign

Humps ahead sign

Plate indicates there will be humps for ½ mile.

Danger ahead sign

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

Overhead electric cable sign

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

Pedestrians on the road ahead sign

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

Risk of ice sign

Soft verges ahead sign

Plate indicates the road has soft verges for 2 miles.

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