red cross, sign road

The most confusing road signs in the UK

Road signs that will make you look twice.

circle with line inside

What this means?

It means “National Speed limit applies”. As we all should know, for cars that means 30mph in built-up urban roads with street lighting, 60mph on single carriageway roads and 70mph on dual carriageways and motorways.

Red Cross

What do you think this means?

Generally it means “Level crossing without barrier”.

Red Triangle with plane inside

Does this mean anything to you?

On its own, this road sign means that there might be sudden aircraft noise. or simply do not panic “airplanes zone”

blue circle

What does this sign mean?

I my understanding blue circles generally give a mandatory instruction such as “turn left”, or in this case, “Vehicles may pass either side to reach same destination”.

Red circle

What does this sign mean?

Red circles generally give a mandatory instruction, such as speed limits. This road sign means “No vehicles carrying explosives”.

blue square with red line

What do you think this means?

It informs drivers that they are leaving a motorway and it’s the end of motorway regulations.

Red Triangle with tren inside

What does this mean anything to you?

This is still the road sign warning of a “Level crossing without barrier or gate ahead”.

blue circle

What does this sign mean?

Blue circles generally give a mandatory instruction such as “turn left”, or in this case, “ahead only”.

Red Triangle with two lines inside

What does this sign mean?

Triangular signs warn of dangers ahead and this one means “Road narrows on both sides”.

inverted red rectangle

What do you think this means?

This is another triangular warning sign, though confusingly it’s upside down. It would normally have a square or rectangular plate below explaining the nature of the hazard ahead (eg “STOP 100 yards” or “GIVE WAY 50 yards”)

Red Triangle, road sign

Does this mean anything to you?

As a rule, triangular signs warn of dangers ahead. It would usually have a square or rectangular plate below explaining what the hazard ahead is (eg a hidden dip or perhaps a fire station).

Red Triangle slope of 10%, road signs

What does this sign mean?

This sign means “Steep hill downwards” and warns motorists that the road ahead will slope downhill. Looking at the sign from left to right will show you whether the road slopes uphill or downhill.

red triangle

What does this sign mean?

This sign which warns drivers and riders that they need to slow down because loose chippings can damage paintwork and are hazardous due to loss of traction.

Red Triangle with car inside

What do you think this means?

This sign means “Water course alongside road” It’s very similar to the warning sign for soft verges. A water course alongside a road may be a stream running in the gutter

red triangle

What does this mean anything to you?

This sign is meant to warn drivers of an uneven road.

Red circle with the red x inside

What does this sign mean?

Red rings or circles tell you what you must NOT do something (eg you must not exceed 30mph or no vehicles over the height shown may proceed). In this case, the sign means “No stopping” because it’s a clearway.

blue rectangle with white bike inside

What does this sign mean?

Blue rectangles are used for information signs except on motorways. This means “Recommended route for pedal cycles”

blue circle WITH THE NUMBER 30 INSIDE

What do you think this means?

It means that there’s a minimum speed permitted, in miles per hour, unless it is impracticable or unsafe to comply.

blue square with letter P inside and below man riding a bike

What does this mean anything to you?

(FREE) “Parking place for solo motorcycles”.

Red circle, road signs

What does this sign mean?

Red rings or circles tell you what you must NOT do something (eg you must not exceed 30mph or no vehicles over the height shown may proceed). In this case, the sign means “No stopping” because it’s a clearway.

blue circle WITH THE NUMBER 30 INSIDE and red line

What does this sign mean?

Just a triangles give warnings, circles generally give a mandatory instruction, such as “turn left”. This one might fox you because it means that you’ve just been through an area where a minimum speed is permitted (30mph, unless it is impracticable or unsafe to comply), but the red line means that it is now the end of the minimum speed requirement. Simple.

Yellow square with blue circle and four orange dots

What do you think this means?

On single carriageway roads with a speed limit of 40mph or more, you might see this “keep left” (or right) sign with flashing amber lights on the back of the works vehicle or the vehicle protecting the works. These lamps flash in pairs from top to bottom. It means there are slow-moving or stationary works vehicles blocking a traffic lane. Pass in the direction shown by the arrow.

Red circle

What does this mean anything to you?

Red rings or circles tell you what you must NOT do something (eg you must not exceed 30mph or no vehicles over the height shown may proceed). Similar to the “No stopping” sign, which has two crossed red lines, this sign means “No waiting”. A no waiting sign generally allows a driver to briefly stop to allow a passenger to exit or enter the car, but any longer periods may be deemed as waiting.

Red Triangle

What does this sign mean?

This sign means “Steep hill upwards” and warns motorists that the road ahead will climb uphill.