OK, this post is a bit niche, but let's pause for a minute and think about how we can multi-purpose the humble traffic direction sign and make things (a little bit) better.
My industry is often accused of ruining our towns, cities and rural places with traffic sign clutter. This is often true, but there will be a need to warn, inform and regulate for the foreseeable, so signs are here to stay!
A good principle to work with is that everything we place on our streets has to do a job (a real job, mind) and things that do more than one job are even better. Map signs are one such thing which do more than one job. On the face of it, they give directional information but they can also show us what the road ahead looks like. Here's an example from Basildon;
The sign in the top right corner is placed well in advance of the roundabout so a decision can be taken early on which direction to take. Not only does the sign actually tell the driver there is a roundabout coming up, it tells us that there is a left turn slip road (there is is on the main image), gives us the destination information to local places and gives a rough idea of how the roundabout is laid out. How about this bit of super-madness at Hemel Hempstead;
The map sign certainly shows the horror ahead, which is a roundabout with six mini-roundabouts around it (yes, you can go both ways around the main roundabout!). And here is one final roundabout in Dagenham which has been created by merging two;
The common thing with those three examples is that the signs explain the road layout quite clearly, but the layouts need explaining as they are unusual and less than intuitive for those unfamiliar with them and to a certain extent, a way of adding motor capacity to existing junctions. Map signs can also be used at T-junctions, like this example near Epping where the junction has a skew;
Here's one more in Lambeth which is designed to stop drivers taking a wrong turn before they get to this side road;
Here's another in Havering-atte-Bower which shows a sharp on the main road bend to the right, a side road to the left, destinations and the start of as weight limit.