The Highway Authority provides signs in order to give information to the road user. The Highway Code gives examples of the most common signs in normal use. Signs fall into certain groups:
- Regulatory signs - signs with red circles
- Warning signs - mostly triangular
- Direction signs - mostly rectangular. Destinations and map type
- Information signs - mostly rectangular
All signs on the highway must be authorised by the Network Management Team. Special signs are allowed with prior approval of the Department for Transport, or if they are experimental and under trial.
Tourism signing provides an important opportunity for both tourism businesses and local economies and will be implemented positively and constructively.
There is of course an advertising element as it helps to generate more impromptu visits. However the primary purpose is to safely guide those wishing to visit a tourist destination along the most appropriate route for the latter stages of their journey, or to indicate facilities that a tourist would not reasonably expect to find in that location.
Owners of tourist attractions may apply to the Network Management Team for tourism signing, and all requests will be assessed against national tourism signing guidelines. If approved, the cost of the signs and future maintenance will be borne by the applicant.