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Unauthorised signs on the highway

The consequences of putting unauthorised signs on the highway.

It is an offence under the Highway Act 1980 to place on the highway any goods or signs which cause an obstruction or include commercial advertising.

Warning If you are responsible for putting an object on the highway contrary to the Highways Act, please remove it. You may be liable for any action brought against you if there is an accident or damage due to the object being on the highway.

Reporting an unauthorised sign

You can report an unauthorised sign, as well as other street problems, through our online reporting tool Fixmystreet.

As the Highway Authority, we may remove any picture, letter, sign or other mark which has, without consent or authorisation or an enactment, been painted or inscribed or fixed on the highway or on any tree, structure or works on or in the highway, in order to:

  • consider the safety and convenience of all pedestrians, especially those with poor eyesight, elderly or disabled people and those with prams, wheelchairs etc.
  • to ensure the clear visibility which is vital at road junctions, where pedestrians cross, and at other access points
  • to ensure a driver's attention is not distracted by any unnecessary increase in the number of these signs.

We can delegate powers to an agent - usually a parish, town or district council, which will carry out the removal on our behalf.