Motorway Route Boards - Unbreadable in the Dark

  jack 09:33 05 Jan 2010

Having nentured to two airport runs afterdark in recent times- I found the large Motorway Route indicator boards unreadable - because of a altenate dark/light banding that covers the boards- is this A construction problem[metal panels distorting]?
A cleaning problem?

Which ever it is I had to navigate 2 roundsbouts
at Gatwick twice last evening to discover the route I wanted.
I also found similar problems on the M1/M25 interchange at North Watford in the past.
Any comments

  bremner 09:48 05 Jan 2010

Never had any problems on either of those junctions which I have regularly transisted or with any other Motorway signs.

If there is an issue I can only guess it is a coating of frost or ice that is making the difference.

  Chris the Ancient 10:44 05 Jan 2010

One possible cause of the 'banding' is in the construction of the sign. The background is a retro-reflective material that comes in rolls and is self-adhesive. That is applied as the background with other information applied - also from self-adhesive material. Finally a protective coat is applied.

OK, perhaps the background was applied, off the roll, in alternating directions; thus giving slightly different reflective characteristics. But I can't imagine why that makes the sign virtually unreadable.

One extremely vague possibility... were you in a car with toughened (rather than laminated) windscreen because they polarise light reflections slightly? I can only visualise some form of polarisation causing that effect. And I don't think that frost would do that.


  jack 12:10 05 Jan 2010

That may explain some thing or nothing at all

I have mailed Highways Agency with much the same as my post.
I will pass on any comment I recieve

  Clapton is God 13:40 05 Jan 2010

Did you have your headlights on at the time? I find them very useful after dark.

  peter99co 14:07 05 Jan 2010

I wonder if the banding is beacause the panels have been fitted in opposite directions during contruction and like a mowed lawn reflect light differently.

  jack 14:12 05 Jan 2010

Do I detect a tongue in cheekiness here CiG?
Though I do see your point.
The answer is affermative.
I found the flashing of mainbeam at them as I approached help - at risk of annoying those in front of course.

  PalaeoBill 15:08 05 Jan 2010

Perhaps its your butter, have you tried using something sticky like honey or cutting the slices more thinly :-)

  jack 15:56 05 Jan 2010

Didn't get that one
Some form of Jurrasic jest perhaps? ;-}

  peter99co 16:18 05 Jan 2010

Unbreadable in the Dark?

  jack 19:52 05 Jan 2010

OOOH I see you are casting nasturtions at my tryping

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