Welcome to Show me a sign. This blog intends to be an impartial, entertaining, and hopefully informative experience relating to the application, history, and potential futures of traffic signs in the UK and perhaps beyond.
Note: the opinions expressed within this website do not represent those of anyone but myself. They are not the views of my employers, the Department for Transport, National Highways, Transport Scotland, the Welsh Assembly Government, or any other highway authority. Unless stated otherwise, photographs are my own. Likewise, any information used on this page is at your own risk; it is self-edited and it is your responsibility as a sign designer to ensure that your design is lawful and appropriate for the application you intend it for.
Allow me to introduce myself! I am Bryn Buck, MIHE, born in 1988, and today I am heavily involved in highways design, road safety, and planning. My experience within the industry goes back over a decade but I started off with only my enthusiasm and previous self-taught knowledge which started when I was very young. As a child, several relatives were lorry drivers and they would tell me tales of new places they’d been to and I would often draw my interpretations on paper; tales of journeys along routes I wouldn’t experience for many years afterwards (or not at all, where improvement schemes have changed them beyond recognition)
To give an indication of the level of signs geekery I attain, when I was five years old for World Book Day I went to school dressed as the Highway Code. This won me second place (I was beaten by a Beatrix Potter tribute if memory serves) in the competition for ‘best outfit’. Later on in school I was asked to help design the course on the school yard for the cycling proficiency lessons by the instructors because I had complained loudly that the give way markings had been chalked up incorrectly.
In 2002, I discovered the Society for All British (and Irish) Road Enthusiasts and have been an extremely active (some may say overtly vocal and opinionated!) member since. I’ve served as the Society’s President on at least two occasions, and have been part of the team responsible for ensuring that the information presented on SABRE’s ‘Wiki’ is as close to an official government record as you can get. My involvement is a bit more reduced these days but I can still be found there.
In secondary school where everyone would draw their favourite superhero, or more often than not in Blackburn, a cannabis leaf, I was drawing made up road signs. It’s fairly safe to say I should have pursued this line of work before I elected to go to University and study Law, which I hated almost every minute of. It was my friends there who encouraged me to take my enthusiasm and turn it into a career. They say you have to make your own mistakes though, don’t they?
However, in my relatively short time in the industry I have realised that there is a significant weakness in the world of traffic engineering; the use of traffic signs. As a discipline, it is often relegated to the ‘afterthought’ category as it isn’t perceived as an exciting element of the job. After all, it is just some metal on a stick, right?
I intend to demolish that perception, and provide a useful, and hopefully entertaining resource that traffic signs practitioners and laypersons alike across the UK (and beyond!) may wish to consult at any time.
Bryn Buck, MIHE