Traffic Cones unveiled

Joanne Morgan
October 4, 2023

Traffic cones, those bright orange beacons of order on our roads, are an essential part of the urban landscape. We see them everywhere, from roadworks to parking lots, but how much do we really know about these iconic safety devices? In this blog post, we'll peel back the retro-reflective sleeve and reveal some amusing facts and figures about traffic cones in the UK.

The great cone mystery

Did you know that traffic cones have a peculiar habit of mysteriously appearing in unexpected places? In the UK, it's not uncommon to spot these cones atop statues, on roundabouts, and even adorning the heads of famous landmarks! Some intrepid pranksters are responsible for these antics, turning traffic cones into unofficial symbols of British humour.

They were not always orange

Although we now associate traffic cones with the classic bright orange hue, they weren't always this colour. In the early days, they were often white or yellow. The switch to orange came about because of its superior visibility, making it easier for drivers to spot them, especially at night.

Hats off to a Guinness World Record

In 2019, the UK set a world record for the largest gathering of people wearing traffic cones on their heads. An astonishing 2,491 people donned traffic cone hats in a Glasgow park to celebrate this quirky achievement. Talk about turning heads!

Cones are multilingual

In Wales, traffic cones often sport bilingual messages. The cones help spread the Welsh language by displaying messages like "Gallwch ddim parcio yma" (You cannot park here) alongside their English counterparts.

Not just for roads

Traffic cones are incredibly versatile. Apart from their traditional road-related roles, they find uses in various non-conventional ways. Some people use them as planters, giant ice cream cones, and even as impromptu goalposts in street football matches.

The Cone War of 2007

In a bizarre turn of events, rival football fans engaged in a "war" over a traffic cone in Scotland in 2007. The famous "Battle of the Cone" saw fans from two football clubs competing to claim a traffic cone as a victory trophy after a game.

Honorary Citizenship

In 2013, a traffic cone in Scotland, known as the "Conehead," became something of a local celebrity. It even had its own Twitter account with thousands of followers. The cone was often placed on top of a famous statue in Glasgow, and its exploits were closely followed by the public.

Traffic Cones are "born" in the UK

Many of the traffic cones used worldwide are actually manufactured in the UK. These cones, which meet rigorous safety standards, are exported to various countries, ensuring road safety globally.

Recycling and repurposing

Rather than discarding old traffic cones, some organisations and artists repurpose them into creative and eco-friendly projects. From furniture to art installations, these cones find new life even after their roadwork days are over.

Traffic cones, while seemingly ordinary, have their own unique and amusing stories to tell. From unexpected appearances to world records, these bright orange markers add a touch of humour and intrigue to our roads and beyond. Most importantly, they are there to help you stay informed of hazards and be safe on the UK road network. The next time you spot a traffic cone, remember that there's more to it than meets the eye - it's a quirky symbol of order and sometimes, delightful chaos, in the UK!

If playing with cones gets you excited, why don’t you register for Vocation Training’s Traffic Management course.

Click here to register

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