Here are some frequently asked questions about tourist signposting:
1. What information do tourist signs include?
The information shown on a tourist sign must conform to the designs prescribed in the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions (TSRGD). Effective signs provide clear information allowing visitors to reach a destination safely. A tourist sign will show the name of the business, distance to the business (where appropriate) and the VisitScotland thistle logo. Further information on this can be obtained from your local authority.
2. My business is Quality Assured and I have requested an accreditation letter - when will I receive it?
Generally, for existing participants in Quality Assurance schemes, VisitScotland issues the accreditation letter within 2-5 working days. For businesses applying to join a Quality Assurance scheme for the first time, a grading visit is normally scheduled within 16 weeks of receipt of an application to join. Please note that VisitScotland cannot issue a letter of accreditation in advance of a Quality Assurance visit, or before the star grading has been officially awarded.
3. What happens if I buy or sell a business with a brown sign?
If you take over a business that previously had a brown sign then you should make sure that your business still meets the criteria to be eligible for tourist signposting. This includes continued participation in the relevant Quality Assurance scheme on an annual basis. If you sell your business and have a brown sign, remember to pass the details of your brown sign to the new owner as it will become their responsibility. The business will be required to be Quality Assured with the new owner to retain the brown sign(s).
4. What if I withdraw from the VisitScotland Quality Assurance Scheme?
If you withdraw from a Quality Assurance scheme, fail to achieve an award or no longer meet the criteria, you will be liable to have your sign removed at your cost. To retain eligibility for tourist signposting you must meet the Quality Assurance criteria on an annual basis.
5. How much do tourist signs cost?
It is advisable to have a realistic understanding of the likely costs and to have appropriate funding identified before proceeding with an application. Prices can range from several hundred pounds for small signs on local roads to many thousands of pounds for larger motorway or trunk road signing. Costs are often influenced by the type of road on which the signs are to be installed as well as the distance to the destination. Additional factors that need to be taken into consideration are design costs, road safety and traffic management requirements, materials used, number of signs required and the size and position of the sign(s).
6. How long will it take to for my tourist signposting to be installed?
Tourist signs take time to be installed. The process of installing a sign includes approval, agreement on wording and number of signs, manufacture of the signs and physically setting them up. The majority of applications are usually concluded within six months. However, please note that on occasion, the process can take significantly longer and may take up to two years from start to finish depending on the complexity involved.
7. Can I apply for motorway signing for my visitor attraction?
To be eligible for signs on the motorway network, your establishment should be Quality Assured and have received receive at least 50,000 visitors each year or in excess of 10,000 visitors in the peak month. In either case these thresholds should have been met in each of the previous three years. Please note that these visitor number thresholds apply only to motorways – there is no visitor number requirement for non-motorway trunk roads (A class roads). Adequate car parking to accommodate the volume of vehicles expected to visit the tourist attraction or facility is also taken into consideration. Where appropriate this parking should include provision for the parking of minibuses and coaches. For further details and advice on this please contact Transport Scotland.