Overtaking - Signs & Lines - PST
I have recently moved and one of my regular jaunts includes a single carriageway B road between Braintree and Witham in sunny Essex. The national speed limit applies for most of it's length and it is a fairly fast road but with limited overtaking opportunities due to bends.

A short section (few hundred yards) has double white lines but the remainder is dashed single lines with "no overtaking signs" (2 or 3 miles worth).

My question is what is the difference in practice between the signs and lines? Is it just that it's cheaper to put up signs rather than paint double white lines?

Double whites allow you to overtake slow moving vehicles (going less than 10mph) - do the signs allow that too?


Overtaking - Signs & Lines - SteVee
You must not cross single white lines (with some exceptions) - overtaking is permitted as long as you do not cross the lines. For example, I could overtake a scooter on my motorbike if there were sufficient room.

With the No Overtaking signs then I don't think I could legally overtake the scooter - although I could cross the white line to take a good look down the road. Overtaking a push bike moving at say 20 MPH would be legal (it's not motorised) within the 'No Overtaking' signs - but not by going across a solid white line.

Solid White Lines only allow a few specified vehicles to be overtaken: a push bike, horse or road maintenance vehicle - if under 10 MPH.
Overtaking - Signs & Lines - SteVee
You must not cross single white lines<<

Sorry - I meant solid white lines.
Overtaking - Signs & Lines - cockle {P}
Know the road, PST, past Cressing Temple Barns if we're talking about the same one.

Can't answer your query with a sure answer but what's always struck me is the unusual distances on the plates under the signs, 'for 580 yards' is one that seems to stick. The only reason I can come up with is that the distances could actually be metric but can't be shown in anything other than Imperial at present but the distances have been set for easy conversion once they can. Rather defeats the object in my mind as I can readily visualise a distance in hundreds of yards or even metres but a sign saying 635 yards would tend to distract me while I work it out!

As you say normally a reasonably fast road so don't have a lot of problem with the no overtaking, reason it was introduced was that some people weren't happy with 50-60 down it and there were a fair few head-ons with people taking a risk too far.
Overtaking - Signs & Lines - PST
That's the one Cockle!

I have also noticed the odd yardages (274 is one I think) but assumed it's because they have to stick the repeater signs after roads merging with this B road. It looks like someone has also twisted one round so that on the left of the road it reads No Overtaking for x yards and on the right hand side of the road it says "End"!

It has the smell of a potentially dangerous road but part of the reason for the original question was what to do if following a slow moving tractor, which has happened recently. There is opportunity to overtake safely but is it illegal when these signs are in force?

Overtaking - Signs & Lines - Dwight Van Driver
Double lines are no problem and if that at your side is continuous then its a no no on overtake , cxross, straddle in the majority of cases. There are some exceptions. Dotted at your side OK to overtake if safe to do so.

IIRC there is set critera for DWL and can only be put down based on visibility splays available.

Single hazard lines have a similar meaning in that overtake if safe to so.

But what we have here is the presence of the NO overtake Roundels? (Diagram 632) which is a regulatory sign and can only be erected as a result of a Traffic Regulation Order to have any authority i.e prohibit and offence to do disobey. It can be accompanied by distance plate (Diagram 570) to show extent of prohibition.

It could well be that stretch where no overtake signs are does not come within the authority to lie down a DWL and LA have taken a TO out to cover possible problems known to them through RTA Stats etc.

On the otherhand if there is no TRO then LA bluffing with good intent?



Ask Honest John

Value my car