Firstly, why are we here?
Mainly to help plug a skills gap that has become increasingly evident over the last decade. Highway authorities and their agents spend millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money building new roads, widening roads, changing junction layouts, putting in road safety measures, speed limits, parking restrictions and traffic calming -- often in response to public demand. All well and good, but what is it that actually makes the new road layout safe, useable and enforceable? The cheap part: SIGNS and ROAD MARKINGS.
That's where we come in. Because the signs and lines are comparatively inexpensive, they are often considered a minor element of the works -- an afterthought passed to an engineer who may have little expertise in the field. But they are actually the bits that make your scheme fit for purpose. They're the most visible part of your scheme, the easiest to get wrong, and most likely to confuse and antagonise the public at large.
What is our approach?
Sign Sense believes that from the client's and the motorist's point of view, what looks right, is right. Our specific skills in the signs and lines field are complemented by a good deal of creativity and above all, common sense -- a very important requirement for getting things right on the highway. We don't believe in putting up signs where none are actually needed, putting two signs where one will do, signs that are bigger than necessary nor in illuminating signs just for the fun of it. We think things through, sometimes using the old adage that "rules are there for the guidance of the wise and for the instruction of the ignorant." After all, it's our own taxes too that pay for each new installation, not to mention the subsequent energy charges and maintenance. The law is still an ass in so many ways. So we are constantly looking for better and more efficient ways of doing things. We actively promote initiatives that help to reduce cost, disruption, environmental damage and risk, such as:
Sign Sense Consultants Ltd. specialises in designing traffic sign schemes that will not only meet the relevant legal requirements but actually do the job they're intended to do. We're used to dealing with the requirements of the Traffic Penalty Tribunal and of the police forces who enforce your speed limits. We do our best to get drivers to their destination without coming to grief on the way. But -- we also believe in minimising sign clutter, which reduces risk to the motorist, environmental impact and cost to the taxpayer.
How do we work?
Off the back of a fag packet if need be. We'll still give you a properly designed and implemented scheme. We're a relatively low-tech company -- direction signs are drawn on KeySIGN and everything else is done the common sense way with a measuring wheel, tape measure, can of paint, camera and notebook. We have a camcorder for preliminary route surveys, but otherwise we get out on the ground and look at everything from the road users', the taxpayers' and the natives' point of view. Unfortunately this approach has often been abandoned by some of our very large competitors who prefer to do most things as a desktop exercise.
What type of scheme can we design?
Anything from a comprehensive direction sign scheme to on-street parking. We are used to implementing speed limits and controlled parking zones and have links with specialist contractors who can provide and install signs, road markings and traffic management. The only thing we won't do is the geotechnical bit -- thirty years experience of putting up road signs has taught us that there's no need to pour money -- in the form of concrete -- into the ground. However, though we're happy to design foundations we are not structural engineers and invite our clients to check and approve before proceeding.
Who do we work for?
Any local authority, construction company, maintenance contractor, consultant or private establishment that needs us. No job is too small.
Traffic Sign and Road Marking Surveys
We can help you with asset management by carrying out route surveys, sign inspections and photometric testing -- providing our clients with a comprehensive inventory and condition report.
What are Passive Audits? Click here for more details.
Traffic Safety Audits
We have qualified Safety Auditors who can provide comprehensive assessments of traffic concerns at colleges, schools, sports centres and any number of similar establishments.
We can teach you about signs, their design and their installation. For details about the Sign Sense course (an introduction to Traffic Sign Products, Standards and Legislation) contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here for course specification.
© 2007 Sign Sense Consultants Ltd./Chris Catling
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