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22 Dec 2011

So, this week ministers promised to cut the red-tape to allow councils more freedom to erect road signs where they are needed. This is great news, although long overdue. The Government has finally realised that the people who know the road network best are the local council workers who drive on it every day.

Under the new rules, councils will no longer need to gain the approval of Whitehall for new signs that they require on a regular basis, including those to warn lorry drivers of narrow roads.

Transport Minister, Norman Baker, said: “I am bringing an end to the ludicrous situation where councils have to come to central government for permission to put up signs they need to use.”

Anyone who’s driven an HGV in an unfamiliar town or city will breathe a sigh of relief as they will no doubt have experienced that unsettling feeling when the satellite navigation system tells you to ‘turn left’ down a narrow street. If you take the plunge and make the turn, there’s always the risk that the street will narrow further or worse turn into a dirt track. But then if you reject the advice of the technology system and go it alone there’s a chance you’ll get lost and find yourself in an even tighter corner. What a conundrum!

If councils have the power to erect road signs alerting fleet drivers to unsuitable roads the world will be a much better, less stressed-out place. And residents living on said dirt tracks will no longer have the misery of seeing enormous vehicles hurtling past their houses or have to direct confused drivers back to the main road.

The change in procedure is expected to take place from 30th January 2012. What a great Christmas present for lorry drivers everywhere!
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