SignPost Solutions secures patent

SignPost Solutions has secured a patent for its new Signstr8 product – a simple idea that keeps road signs in place.

Swindell & Pearson secured the UK patent and therefore intellectual property rights on behalf of the West Midlands based firm for its anti-rotational signpost.

The company has been in the highways industry for more than 40 years during which it has been at the forefront of innovation with different products used by local authorities that help keep roads and users safe.

Its latest product, Signstr8, is a new version of a post holding everyday signs – directions to places, notices about parking restrictions, speed limits, cameras and such. It was thought up by managing director Chris Nicklin, whose project team developed it.

Nicklin said that signs can be twisted around for several reasons – by children larking around which can send people the wrong way, sheer vandalism, and even some drivers turning a parking restriction sign around and taking a photo to show it was not visible in trying to avoid a fine.

Signstr8, made of steel and aluminium, looks like any other post and uses the standard fittings and cap on the top.

“The special difference is that it has a designed-in flat portion so that when the sign is fixed it cannot be twisted,” Nicklin said.

“It means that several signs can be put on the one post rather than having two posts to support them, so saving money. It can save councils time and money because they don’t have to send out workers to straighten signs. It reduces the risk of danger to workers, particularly on fast and busy roads and it means the public can see the correct information.”

The product took 18 months to develop. So far 20 councils, including Wolverhampton and Gateshead, have adopted Signstr8 as their standard post. SignPost Solutions recently supplied 2,500 Signstr8 posts to Warrington for new 20mph zones.

Robert Sales, an intellectual property director at Swindell & Pearson, based in Friar Gate, said: “While this was a simple idea it is, in fact, a very clever solution to a long-term problem. I was pleased to obtain protection for this and I’m also pleased that this product is popular in what could be a large market helping councils to save money.”

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