The term "street furniture" covers all types of traffic signs, direction signs, road nameplates and other items fixed for the safety and convenience of the public. Safety fencing, bollards and crash barriers are installed to protect pedestrians and motorists in the event of traffic accidents and, as a result, often get damaged. Bus shelters are provided to give passengers a degree of protection and comfort while waiting for a bus. Some of these shelters are owned and maintained by the council but some are looked after by a private company.
Benches are also sited to benefit the public where there is a recognised need, such as in shopping areas. Damage to any item of street furniture can be reported to the council by telephoning 01375 366100 or by using the appropriate Highways Online Incident Report Form.
Thurrock Council, as Highway Authority, places signs on the highway to convey information to the road user.
The Highway Code shows examples of the most commonly used signs. The types of sign generally fall into the following groups:
All signs on the highway must be authorised by the Highway Authority and comply with the requirements of the Department for Transport, Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002. Special signs are allowed with prior approval of the Department for Transport, or if they are experimental and under trial.
The Engineering Services Traffic Section is responsible for the erection of new traffic signs on the public highway. Requests are frequently received from members of the public or organisations for new signs to venues, libraries and churches for example. Where requested by organisations or members of the public, there is usually a small charge associated for the design, manufacture and erection of the signs. Any new signs must meet the criteria for approval as set out in the council's Sign Policy.
The location and clarity of road markings and traffic signs can contribute towards an improvement in road safety by assisting drivers, cyclists and other road users in locating preferred, suitable and convenient routes quickly and efficiently and warning them of any hazards.
The council has an ongoing programme of reviewing road markings and signs within the borough throughout the year. Requests for new road markings such as "SLOW" markings or warning and direction signs on the highway are examples of the types of requests received by the department. Any suggestions made by members of public should be directed to the address or contacts below.
The maintenance of existing traffic signs and road markings is looked after by Engineering Services Maintenance Section. They can arrange for the replacement of missing or damaged signs and are also responsible for cleaning them.