3.1 Transport Scotland, as trunk road authority, has responsibilities for the safety of the public travelling on trunk roads and motorways in Scotland.


3.2 The purpose of tourist signs is to provide clear and consistent directions for visitors enabling them to reach their destination safely and minimising the likelihood of drivers making dangerous manoeuvres. This is an important factor in road safety and reduces the problems that visitors may face when trying to find their way in an unfamiliar area.

3.3 It is recognised that tourist signposting can be a useful tool in traffic and visitor management. Signs can be used to direct visitors to tourist destinations and Tourist Information Centres where they can find out more about places to visit and book accommodation etc. Visitors can be directed to use particular routes or to avoid particularly sensitive locations. It must be stressed that tourist signs are not advertising signs and are not a substitute for effective marketing.


3.4 To be eligible for tourist signing, all tourist destinations (attractions and facilities) must be recognised by VisitScotland. In addition, the tourist destination operators must be members of the relevant VisitScotland Quality Assurance scheme, where one exists, or an equivalent scheme endorsed by VisitScotland.

3.5 Approval of tourist signs by the trunk road authority will be conditional on the removal of the tourist operator’s existing advertising signs where these are considered to be a distraction to the road user.

3.6 Eligibility does not confer automatic entitlement to tourist signs. Several other considerations must be taken into account including existing sign provision; availability of space for new signs, and road safety considerations. Each application will be considered on its merits but the final decision for signs on the trunk road and motorway network will rest with Transport Scotland.

3.7 The relevant Roads Authority will have absolute and final discretion to grant consent for, remove or temporarily cover signs which it considers are no longer satisfactory or justified.

Cross boundary signing

3.8 It is important that there is consistency and continuity of tourist signing across the trunk road and local road networks. In particular, there must be continuity across local administrative boundaries. Tourist signing will only be provided from the trunk road or motorway network if the local roads authorities have approved signing to the destination on the local road network (unless the destination is accessed directly from a trunk road or motorway).

Environmental Impact

3.9 Consideration must be given to the environmental impact of tourist signs and the need to have regard to the character of the surrounding landscape and historic environment when considering the location of tourist signs as well as the need for signs. Sign proliferation must be avoided and guidance for Road and Planning Authorities and Statutory Undertakers can be found in Road Furniture in the Countryside [9].

Design standards

3.10 White on brown tourist signs are traffic signs and must comply with TSRGD and the guidance for its use. Signs should also comply with the design guidance given in the Traffic Signs Manual [6] and related documentation.

Park and Ride Services

3.11 Where a dedicated park and ride service is available, careful consideration will be given to whether visitors should be directed to individual tourist destinations or directed to use the park and ride facilities.


3.12 Adequate parking for cars (and where appropriate, coaches) should be provided at the attraction, or adequate public parking should be available in the vicinity and the HTA should confirm that these parking facilities are suitable for use by visitors to the tourist attraction.