Call to S. Glos Council to stop putting advertising signs on roundabouts

There’s a petition set up calling on South Gloucestershire council to stop putting distracting advertising signs on roundabouts. These are some of the more dangerous junctions for cycling and those in S. Glos tend to be large and fast making them even more intimidating.  

We support this petition and suggest that you might want to show your support as well.  

Here’s the useful explanation:

South Gloucestershire Council is increasing the risk of accidents, particularly for cyclists, by putting advertising signs on roundabouts. This petition asks South Gloucestershire Council not to renew existing agreements and to refuse future applications for advertising signs on roundabouts.

Advertisements by their very nature are designed to distract, and distracted drivers cause accidents, so why is the local authority charged with improving road safety sacrificing their principles for advertising revenue? What price a life?

As noted by RosPA in their report – ‘Cycling Accidents Facts & Figures – August 2014’

“Roundabouts are particularly dangerous junctions for cyclists.”

The DFT Consultation on the draft Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2015 acknowledges this;

“3.2 Over-provision of signs can have a detrimental impact on the environment and can dilute important messages. If they result in information overload for drivers they can contribute to driver distraction, which can have an impact on road safety.”

Writing on the Road Safety Knowledge Centre website on the 21st December 2011 Ms M Whitelock of South Gloucestershire Council wrote:

Roundabout Advertising

“We have never had an accident report that said the driver was distracted by the advertising on the roundabout – I guess that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been one just not one that has been recorded as such. “

Thus the council doesn’t know if an accident has been caused by their signs but is willing to take a chance with our lives, surely an irresponsible attitude.

The danger of advertising signs is highlighted in the TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING (CONTROL OF ADVERTISEMENTS) (ENGLAND) REGULATIONS 2007
”General considerations
1. All advertisements are intended to attract attention. But particular consideration should be given to proposals to site advertisements at points where drivers need to take more care, for instance at junctions, roundabouts, pedestrian  crossings, on the approach to a low bridge or level crossing, or other places where local conditions present traffic hazards.”

The 3rd International Conference on Driver Distraction and Inattention

also draws attention to the dangers and concludes;

“The overall results of the empirical studies show that advertising signs do
affect driver attention to the extent that road safety is compromised.”


“The signs are placed with the purpose of capturing drivers’ visual attention. Every time the drivers’ visual attention is distracted away from the road and towards competing advertising signs, the time available for the drivers’ response to avoid a crash if something unexpected occurs is reduced.”