Application for tourism signing

Tourism Sign

How to apply

Return the completed form, with all supporting literature certificates and fee to:


Cheshire East Highways Traffic and Road Safety
Floor 6
Delamere House
Delamere Street

Included with the form should be a non-returnable fee. This should be a cheque made payable to Cheshire East Council. Current fees and charges for highways licences and permits (PDF, 216KB)

Follow the guidelines before submitting the form. If you have any doubts about your application contact Traffic and Road Safety before you submit.

All costs associated with the design, provision, erection and future maintenance of tourism signing will be charged to the applicant but as guidance, a typical example of signing to a venue consisting of 2 advance signs and a double-sided sign at the entrance is likely to cost at least £1000.00 + VAT.

The final decision for the provision of any signs will be made by the Council’s area Traffic Engineer.

Definition of tourist amenities

Tourism amenities can be divided into two main categories: Attractions and Facilities.

  • An attraction includes those establishments which are covered by the original tourism definition, i.e. places of interest open to the public offering recreation, education or historical interest. These include theme parks, historic houses, museums and leisure complexes. This category is now extended to include farm centres and craft centres to a greater extent than previous guidance permitted.
  • A facility covers establishments which provide a service, i.e. accommodation, restaurants, cafes, public houses, and shops, etc. Tourist Board guidance suggests that cinemas, theatres, concert halls and sports venues also come under this heading.

Motorists who follow tourism signs expect a high standard of attraction/facility to be provided at the destination and the following requirements must be complied with to ensure that these standards are maintained.

To qualify for brown and white signs, an attraction must:

  • Have a minimum opening of 150 days per year, and for at least 4 hours per day. (It may be possible that there are some attractions/facilities which are not open for this period, i.e. regular weekend opening only that could also qualify due to their tourism value).
  • Provide an appropriate level of car parking for the expected number of visitors, catering and toilet facilities.
  • Be available for use by the public during opening hours without the need for pre-booking or membership.
  • Attract visitors from outside the local area.
  • Demonstrate that the destination is publicised as a tourism attraction/facility and advertises itself in tourism promotions. (Membership alone of a tourism agency or association will not confer eligibility in this respect. If, however, an attraction/facility fulfils the above criteria in terms of promotion, the appropriate membership will give added assurance).

An attraction must also comply with all appropriate statutory requirements such as:

Each type of attraction/facility is now considered individually. Standards will be applied to ensure that the individual types of destination meet minimum quality thresholds. The VisitBritain site has useful information and statistics about the UK tourism industry.

Attractions recognised by the english tourist board

The destinations eligible for signing under the original rules were those recognised by the English Tourist Board and these will continue to be signed as at present. They include:

  • Craft centres
  • Museums
  • Historical or architectural buildings or sites
  • Natural attractions such as forests or country parks
  • Tourist information centres
  • Camping and caravan sites
  • Youth hostels
  • Picnic sites
  • Leisure complexes
  • Leisure drives
  • Cycle routes
  • Theme parks

Signing will be permitted for any new destinations of these types.

Further information for applying for tourism signing

Hotels, Guest Houses, Bed and Breakfast Facilities

  • All establishments must be members of Quality Assurance schemes which require independent inspection of members premises. The three largest of these are the ETB Crown Scheme (National Accommodation Grading and Classification Scheme), AA and RAC Star Rating Schemes.
  • In urban areas it is logical to assume that members of the public in search of a bed will assume the existence of accommodation establishments. It will be impossible to sign all establishments, although a generic or zone signing scheme may be adopted for those large concentrations of accommodation.
  • In rural areas accommodation can be signed below existing boundary signs (point of entry signs) to villages or small towns. Where this is not practical, only accommodation that is not visible to passing trade will be signed. Large hotels in rural areas which may generate a significant amount of traffic will be signed from the nearest main road.

Self Catering accommodation, camping and caravanning sites

  • Facilities which require booking will not be eligible for signing.
  • Caravan and camping sites must be licensed under the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 and/or the Public Health Act 1936 and have at least 20 pitches for caravans/tents (combined if necessary) for casual overnight use.
  • Some static sites may qualify (where they are available without pre-booking) but the use of the caravan symbol will not be allowed as this could be confusing to touring caravans requiring an overnight pitch.
  • Football Clubs, Rugby Clubs, Cricket Clubs, Fisheries, Golf Driving Ranges, and Leisure Centres can all be signed.
  • Tennis Clubs, Squash Clubs, Badminton Clubs, Golf Clubs can be signed but only where non-members can play without prior booking.

Public Houses, restaurants, cafes, etc.

It is proposed that these can be signed if the following is complied with:

  • Food is served both at lunch time and during the evening
  • Facilities are provided inside to allow children to accompany parents.
  • Adequate parking is provided.
  • No traffic management problems will be created.
  • Signing is required due to locational problems.
  • Advertising should take place to the tourist industry and not just in the local press.

In urban areas members of the public will assume the existence of catering establishments. It will be impossible to sign all establishments except where generic signing is used.

In rural areas signing will be restricted to point of entry signs or where the venue is located away from main through routes.

Shops, craft centres, etc.

These can be signed if the following is complied with:

  • Where the mix of facilities provides a genuine leisure experience, such as entertainment, rides, demonstrations, exclusive environment.
  • Where there is evidence of promotion within the tourist market.
  • Where the retail facility is sufficiently unique/exceptional in regional or national terms.
  • Where the majority of customers travel from outside the area.

Garden centres

The Government have declared that Garden Centres can no longer be classed as tourist attractions. Black and White signing will be considered if there are mitigating traffic management circumstances.

Contact us

Report a problem online

If you consider a highways issue to be dangerous, or an emergency, please call us on:

0300 123 5020
(8:30am – 5:00pm)

0300 123 5025
(after 5pm and before 8:30am, including weekends)

Floor 6
Delamere House
Delamere Street

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