5.1 This chapter details additional criteria which apply to tourist signing applications on Motorways.

Visitor Numbers

5.2 In order to be eligible for tourist signs on the motorway network, tourist attractions should normally have received at least 50,000 visitors in each of the previous three years. Note that there is no visitor number criterion for signs on all-purpose trunk roads.

5.3 Tourist attractions which do not meet the annual visitor number criterion may be considered for tourist signs from the motorway if the number of visitors in the peak month exceeds 10,000.

5.4 Where a tourist attraction is not yet opened and visitor numbers are only projections, the trunk road authority may, at its discretion, allow the use of projected visitor numbers for assessing signing eligibility. However the destination will need the necessary VisitScotland accreditation before the erection of signs is allowed.

5.5 Achieving the required visitor numbers does not confer automatic entitlement to tourist signs, other factors will also need to be considered.

5.6 At the discretion of the trunk road authority, the visitor number criteria may be relaxed for historical, cultural or natural heritage attractions of national importance. This will only be done after consultation with VisitScotland and, where relevant, Historic Scotland and/or Scottish Natural Heritage.

5.7 For the collective signing of tourist destinations within a town, city or geographical area (see Chapter 11), the trunk road authority may allow the visitor number criterion to be relaxed for each individual destination that meets the basic eligibility criteria as set out in Chapter 3.

Urban Motorways

5.8 An urban motorway is defined as a motorway with a speed limit of 60 mph or less within a built-up area.

5.9 In recognition of the problems associated with normal traffic signing on urban motorways, special conditions apply to the provision of tourist signs on these roads.

5.10 In order to avoid sign overload, there will be a presumption against any additional new tourist signs being permitted on these roads in favour of normal direction signing.

5.11 However, where a tourist attraction can demonstrate a significant case on the grounds of traffic management and/or road safety and there are suitable locations to erect signs, consideration may be given to allowing tourist signs.

5.12 When considering the specific case, the trunk road authority will take into account visitor numbers, percentage of visitors from outside the area, access arrangements and any difficulty in finding the attraction amongst other factors. It is expected that only destinations which attract several hundreds of thousands of visitors, mainly from outside the local urban area will be able to demonstrate a significant case. Such attractions will still need to meet the basic eligibility criteria.


5.13 Tourist signs to tourist facilities (See paragraph 2.1.2) will not be permitted from the motorway network.

Other considerations

5.14 Where an all-purpose A-class road forms the extension of a motorway (eg A8/M8 or A9/M9) and there is a junction to the attraction on the all-purpose road nearer to it than any junction on the motorway, the attraction will be signed from the all-purpose road rather than the motorway, even if the end of the motorway is within the 20 mile overall distance limit.

5.15 Retail destinations shall also be considered for signing where there are clear traffic management or safety reasons. In such cases standard directional signing as prescribed by the TSRGD shall be used for new or replacement signs.

5.16 The main purpose of providing signs to retail destinations and exhibition centres is to guide drivers to their intended destinations along the most appropriate route during the latter stage of their journey, particularly where the destination or entrance may be difficult to find.

5.17 The number of side destinations shown on the direction sign system will not normally exceed two (i.e. one for each direction along the side road). However, at some junctions there may be more than two routes or more than two important destinations along the same route. In such cases the number of side destinations shown may be increased, but care should be taken in the selection of place names to avoid too much information on one sign. For example it may not be necessary to include place names which were signed as side destinations at previous junctions. The order in which the destinations appear shall normally reflect the importance of each destination in terms of traffic movement rather than status with the more highly trafficked destinations appearing above the less trafficked ones.