More changes to the national regulations governing street signs are planned for next year, with local authorities set to gain greater freedom over parking bays.
The reforms to the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions (TSRGD) include allowing parking bays that have no restrictions on their use to be placed without the need for a Traffic Regulation Order.
A spokeswoman for the Department for Transport (DfT) said the changes would come in under a new statutory instrument, subject to parliamentary approval, in the spring next year.
The statutory instrument will also cover much wider planned changes to the TSRGD that were announced this year and trumpeted by ministers as the biggest reforms to the to traffic signage in 50 years. However a series of delays saw them miss the boat on the 2015 parliamentary timetable.
The latest reforms come after a separate consultation, which received an overwhelmingly positive response from the total 140 respondents including 55 local authorities in Great Britain.
For instance 81% of all respondents and 82% of local authority respondents supported the decision to remove the need for a Traffic Regulation Order for unrestricted parking bays.
DfT officials highlighted that a parking bay with a legend where there is no upright sign will still require a Traffic Regulation Order and members of the public also have the opportunity to challenge the parking policies of councils under the new 'Right to Challenge Parking Policies' introduced at the end of the last Parliament.
Other changes include amending legislation to say that signs on roads with street lighting - at least three lamps not more than 183 metres apart - that is not lit at night must be retroreflective.
The tunnel restriction code for signs will also be included in the new Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions as a matter of safety. DfT officials point out that a ‘lack of understanding has been implicated in incidents of bridges being struck by over height vehicles - in 2014/15 over 1600 bridge strikes were reported at rail-over-road bridges’.
The government consultation response also reveals there were 75 responses suggesting ways to further reduce traffic signs clutter, all of which have been passed onto Sir Alan Duncan's new taskforce on the matter.