Motorway Services Online

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Road Signs

This section of the website deals with a whole manner of issues related to both service areas and road signs.

Road signs ought to be a simple subject. They are everywhere, and there are detailed regulations on where they are needed and what they should look like. But there are a whole load of exceptions and anomalies and things that don't make sense.

We will do our best to explain what exists, and why, while saving the intricate details for those who really love the subject.

Sign saying 'Cherwell Valley services, Moto'.
UK Motorway Signs

The system on the motorways is fairly straightforward. We are therefore able to give you a non-technical guide to all the road signs you can expect when approaching a motorway service area. There's over 60 years worth of history to share, too!

White services sign with symbols.
UK A-road Signs

A-roads never like to play ball. There is a very clear policy as to what the signs should look like when you're approaching an A-road service area, and we shall talk you through that, but we can't promise the real signs will get it all right.

M4 Enfield service area sign.
Irish Signs

Ireland only really began to standardise its service area signage in 2018, so it took a while before there were enough signs for us to write about them. The vast majority of service areas now follow the signage policy to the letter, and here you'll see what signs to expect when on the motorways in Ireland.

Complicated roundabout sign.
Internal Signs

Road sign fans will be aware that once you drive in to a service area, the rules on what's allowed seem to be turned upside down and inside out. So strap yourself in and brace yourselves as we take you through some of the best, and worst, of the service station road signs.

Services: Odford, Puddleworth, Westville, Woodhouse.
Fictional Names

If you've read the Highway Code recently, you'll know the name of a service area that doesn't exist. In fact, government documents love making up the names of service areas and operators, and we've tried to keep track of them all.

J38 truckstop black sign.
See Also

  • Our page on Rest Areas explains how they are signed on motorways.

  • If you're looking for things that are confusing, try to make sense of the different types of Truckstops.