Signs at the Low Emission Zone
Four additional complete signs have been introduced to support the introduction of Low Emission Zones in Scotland’s cities. A new Part 4B to Schedule 8 was introduced by the SSI, and includes:
- Diagram 680 - Entrance to a Low Emission Zone
- Diagram 895 - Reminder to drivers within a Low Emission Zone
- Diagram 681 - End of a Low Emission Zone
- Diagram 1070 - Road marking indicating the commencement of a Low Emission Zone
The four signs are illustrated (in order from the left) in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Diagrams 680, 895, 681 and 1070 (road marking) indicating a Low Emission Zone
The signs illustrated above are similar in layout and scale to the signs in TSRGD 2016 (Schedule 8 Part 4) indicating the presence of a Congestion Charging zone. The signing is relatively simple, and does not permit any prescribed variations.
The details of compliant vehicles (and any exemptions or exceptions) is defined separately by the LEZ legislation. The boundary of a Low Emission Zone is fixed by the scheme, by reference to an area on a map, and by specifying the roads (or parts of a road) which form part of the zone, and is therefore not defined by the positioning of the signs. However, it is important that appropriate signing is provided to indicate the presence of the Low Emission Zone and give fair warning to road users. Unlike Congestion Charging zones, it is an offence to drive a restricted vehicle within a Low Emission Zone, so clear messaging is essential. The appropriate provision of LEZ signing is the responsibility of the roads authority. It is anticipated that, as a minimum, the entry sign to Diagram 680 would be provided at every entry point to the Low Emission Zone.
The SSI provides various permitted sizes for the four signs. In most situations the smallest size will be suitable, but on higher speed roads (i.e. where the 85th percentile speed is greater than 35 mph), or on wide roads, the roads authority may determine that the larger sizes are required. Within any sign face, consistent sizing should be applied. So, for example, where the largest dimension is applied to the text, it should also be applied to the LEZ symbol.
All four signs include the LEZ symbol, which is discussed further in the following section.
LEZ symbol for use on approach
The LEZ symbol is incorporated in all of the LEZ signs discussed above. The symbol introduced by the SSI is circular, as illustrated in Figure 2, or in the case of the road marking, elongated to appear circular to road users. It features a light green background (as is used on Quiet Lane signs and directions for emergency services) and white text “LEZ” in Transport Heavy alphabet.
Figure 2: The LEZ symbol as added to Schedule 12 Part 20
As well as featuring on the LEZ signs, the symbol is also added to Schedule 12 Part 20. This allows the symbol to be incorporated on direction signs, similar to other symbols identifying restrictions such as weight restrictions, low bridges and bus gates. By using the symbol on these signs, road users can be given advance notification of the presence of a Low Emission Zone, and select their route accordingly.
Guidance on the use of symbols on direction signs is provided in Traffic Signs Manual Chapter 7. Extracts from Traffic Signs Manual showing typical examples of symbols being displayed on these signs, alongside equivalent signs showing the LEZ symbol, are provided in Figure 3. (It is noted that the LEZ symbol is displayed with a smaller diameter than the equivalent height limit and weight limit symbols, in accordance with the Schedule 12 regulations.)
Figure 3: Typical examples of restriction symbols (including LEZ) being used on direction signs
The SSI also enables the LEZ symbol to be used on the standard advance notification sign to Diagram 818.4. This is addressed by the final amendment (7) to Schedule 12.
This sign allows the nature and location of a prohibition, restriction or requirement to be displayed, with indication of an alternative route provided beneath the symbol where this is appropriate. A Traffic Signs Manual extract showing an example of this sign type is shown in Figure 4, alongside examples showing the LEZ symbol.
Figure 4: Diagram 818.4 advance notification sign (including LEZ versions)
The legends at the top and bottom of Diagram 818.4 can be varied (or omitted) to suit the situation, and may include arrows where appropriate. Further advice on the use of Diagram 818.4 is provided in Traffic Signs Manual Chapter 3.
Wherever the LEZ symbol features on a dark background, it should include a narrow white outline to ensure distinction.
Signs for Entry to Pedestrian Zones
Schedule 8 Part 2 of TSRGD 2016 includes signs indicating pedestrian and pedestrian and cycle zones:
- Diagram 618.3B - Entry to, and waiting in, a pedestrian zone restricted
- Diagram 618.3C - Entry to, and waiting in, a pedestrian and cycle zone restricted
The SSI introduces two further signs to Schedule 8 Part 2, which are very closely aligned to these, as illustrated in Figure 5:
- Diagram 618.3BA - Entry to, and waiting in, a pedestrian zone restricted: version incorporating flashing lights (alternative to Diagram 618.3B)
- Diagram 618.3D - Entry to, and waiting in, a pedestrian and cycle zone restricted: version incorporating flashing lights (alternative to Diagram 618.3C)
Figure 5: Diagrams 618.3BA and 618.3D incorporating flashing lights
The only difference between the original TSRGD 2016 signs and the signs introduced by the SSI is that the additional signs replace the time period permitted in the upper panel with the message “when lights show”, and incorporate amber flashing lights. All permitted variations relating to the middle and lower panels are identical to the original signs.
It is intended that this amendment will provide benefits in situations where the definition of the restricted zone is not well suited to fixed time periods. For example, it will enable the zone restriction to be applied during school term times, but not during holidays. This has potential dual benefit of:
- Enabling pedestrian or pedestrian/cycle zones to be applied in situations where they would otherwise be unsuitable, and/or;
- Ensuring that these zones are not applied during periods where they are not needed.
The regulation of these areas will be dependent on the lights working effectively. The decision to install these lights and the costs to install, operate and maintain them, will all be at the discretion of the roads authority.
The original signs to Diagrams 618.3B and 618.3C remain prescribed and are not affected by the amendments.
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