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Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk

Traffic Lights, Traffic Signs and Signals


If you have discovered a broken traffic light, sign or signal please report it using our online form by following the link above, so we can arrange to repair it.

Traffic lights control the flow of vehicles on the road. Traffic lights are the familiar "Red-Amber-Green" displays set on poles or overhead gantries, most often at road junctions.

Pedestrian crossing lights are designated for pedestrians to cross a road and are designed to keep pedestrians together where they can be seen by motorists, and where they can cross most safely across the flow of vehicular traffic.

Pedestrian crossings are often found at road junctions but may also be at other points on busy roads that would otherwise be too unsafe to cross without assistance due to vehicle numbers, speed or road widths. They are also commonly installed where large numbers of pedestrians are attempting to cross (such as in shopping areas) or where vulnerable road users (such as school children) regularly cross.

The display will indicate a red or green man when it is safe for pedestrians to cross the road. There will be a push-button pad for pedestrians to activate the lights.

You can report any of the following defects:

  • Signals are knocked over/leaning.
  • Signals all out.
  • Electrical wires exposed.
  • Incorrect timings.
  • Individual lamp failure "Red-Amber-Green".
  • Push Button Unit not working.

Traffic signs include all and any signs giving directional information such as "Erdington 5 miles", instructions such as "No Entry", or warnings such as "School Crossing Ahead". Traffic signs are usually set on poles or gantries by the side of the road, or in the central reservation of a dual carriageway.

You can report any of the following defects:

  • Sign is knocked over/leaning.
  • Sign is missing or loose.
  • Electrical wires exposed.
  • Obscured or not illuminated

Illuminated bollards are small pillars which are lit from inside, and are often placed in the centre of the road or at road junctions and often display a directional arrow indicating to drivers which side of the bollard they should pass on and sometimes can be damaged by vehicles. Non illuminated bollards which are small concrete or metal pillars most commonly used to restrict or prevent vehicular access to certain areas.

Belisha Beacons are yellow flashing lights on top of black-and-white striped poles, placed by a pedestrian crossing and are designated for pedestrians to cross a road and are designed to keep pedestrians together where they can be seen by motorists, and where they can cross most safely across the flow of vehicular traffic.

Driver information signals include any other signs, either temporary or permanent, which give information or instructions to road users such as temporary traffic lights or road signs, or automatic signs which tell the road user how fast their vehicle is travelling.

Requests for new Traffic Signs and Signals and issues about local traffic congestion can be reported by using our on line form.

Information required when reporting a problem

Key information required is:

Location - Please provide as much detail as possible to identify the location of the problem. Reports of a general nature regarding the network condition will be investigated, however for specific reports about a potential hazard please try to pinpoint the location as close as possible on the map contained within the reporting form.

Please also include:

  • road names;
  • name of the junction or road, and other easily identifiable landmarks; school, shops, Public Building or Hospital.
  • identifying features on the road such as a property address or street furniture number that the problem appears near to; and

Description of the problem - Please provide as much detail as possible and include:

  • details of the defect
  • location in the road surface (at the edge, in the middle etc) and on main roads if the defect is In to city or Out of city, North or South bound·
  • Asset number – each set of signals should have a unique reference number on the column or cabinet box next to the signals, if you can provide this number it will help us identify the location and respond more efficiently.
  • If any damage has been caused by a vehicle, please provide any information of who caused the damage details e.g. Vehicle Make and model (Ford Focus etc.), Colour, Registration number etc.

Your contact details - In case we need to contact you for more details, we ask that you provide us with your contact details.

Please ensure you do not put yourself or anyone else in danger when obtaining details about the fault.

The above information is very helpful as this will help us prioritise the enquiry and also enable us to provide a more efficient response.

How you can help us
  • Notifying us of problems/defects - use our online reporting system
  • Keeping trees and hedges trimmed to avoid overhanging the Highway.
  • Reporting any damage, vandalism or theft.
  • Not damaging footways or verges by parking on them.
  • Not obstructing footways or using flyposting with commercial displays.

Out of Hours

If you consider any fault you are reporting to be causing a serious hazard to traffic or pedestrians and is in need of urgent attention, please telephone 0121 303 4149 (Mon - Fri (5:00pm - 9:00am) and weekends).

Our Promise

Millions of people use the city’s highways and road networks every day, whether they are motorists or pedestrians. Our Highways Service is committed to providing a consistently high level of service and routinely undertakes inspections to make sure the roads, footways, bridges and street lights across the city are safe for all.

Sometimes, problems occur and we will do our utmost to fix them.

If you report a faulty traffic light, we will:

  • Repair it within two hours

Well maintained highways

The highway network is a most highly valued physical asset, both in financial and community terms, for which public authorities are responsible. Effective stewardship and asset management is crucially important, both to users and the community. Authorities are recommended to adopt the principles of the Code of Practice for Highway Maintenance Management, to adapt them as necessary based on consideration of local circumstances, and apply them consistently.

Highway Inspections

We undertake all our highway works and inspections in accordance to national standards and this sets strict safety criteria to ensure that all public footways and carriageways are safe for public use.

This criteria is based on a safety matrix, whereby any urgent defects are rectified within one hour of us being notified and all other defects are repaired using varying timescales this, dependent upon the severity of the defect, Repairs are carried out in accordance with our service standards. Emergency defects (e.g. where the pothole is of a size and location to put both the probability and impact of an accident as very high) should be attended within one hour. At that initial visit, the site will be made safe either with barriers or a temporary repair. Other potholes are added to the list of works and an Enquiry Inspector will visit site and use the risk matrix to determine the category of the defect.

Essential Information
  • There is no additional information
Frequently Asked Questions
    • Each traffic light, sign or signal should have a number on its column. This may be painted on, or on a sticker, and will be on the side of the column facing the road. If you can tell us this number it will help us to resolve your request more quickly.

    • How quickly this report is dealt with depends on how urgent the problem is.

      We will inspect anything you report within a maximum of 5 working days.

      Dangerous faults or situations will be made safe within 24 hours of the report.

      All other defects will be scheduled for attention or repair within planned programmes, for Street lighting faults usually within 12 business days (95% of the time) and for Street Names Plates with 28 business days from the report.

    • If you haven't been able to find the information that you need then the link below will take you to a form that you can use to ask us further questions.

      Service Specific Enquiry