Signing in the Rain

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Big road signs through a moist windscreen, thanks to Andy Martin.

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A nice big interchange, in Portsmouth between the M27 and M275. Overhead signing here is interesting in that it uses the "vehicle ferry" symbol — one of the few not just to be a silhouette, as it contains black images of vehicles inside — and that the road numbers come at the top of the sign, since usually numbers come secondary to destinations.

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Advance direction sign on the A27, showing the more common 'fork' design. This has a green background because the A27 is a primary A-road. The blue patch at the top designates motorway status for one of the roads reached along the A27.

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Guildford Rules "patching" in action. A green-backed sign as we are on a primary A-road, but a white patch for the exit as this is a non-primary road and a blue patch for the motorway ahead. This sign has been intelligently sited just behind a countdown marker and a cyclist guide sign.

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On to the M5 at Exeter, a typical motorway advance direction sign. Blue motorway signs never use different coloured patches. This one is at the one mile point, and so doesn't show the forward destinations.

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Gantry signs preparing for a lane-drop ahead. Notice also the variable message sign to the left of the gantry and lane control signals above the traffic lanes. Almost all sections of motorway have these, either mounted over each lane or every mile in the central reservation.

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Another gantry for the same junction, later on where the lanes split. The directions remain the same ("A30, Honiton, Exeter, Airport; Bristol, Taunton, Barnstaple M5").

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The A30 drops a lane. These lane diagram signs are common on non-motorway roads where unusual lane layouts are used. Again, a white patch is used for the non-primary route directions. The name of the junction is across the top of the sign (another Guildford Rules thing).