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Iconic British road sign of two schoolchildren crossing updated by Margaret Calvert following degradation

The girl in the sign is based on Ms Calvert herself as a child 

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith
Monday 09 May 2016 15:42 BST
The updated sign by Margaret Calvert, which shows more defined features on the children
The updated sign by Margaret Calvert, which shows more defined features on the children (Buchannan Computing)

One of the most iconic British road signs known to drivers everywhere has been updated, following the degradation of the image over the past 50 years.

The image, designed by Margaret Calvert, shows two schoolchildren crossing the street while holding hands.

The sign is a warning for drivers to look out for schoolchildren either using or crossing the road ahead of them, though the design of the image itself has degraded since it was first introduced in the early 1960s.

The problem arose from the pictogram being copied manually between drawn and computerised images several times, and the new image sharpens up the girl’s haircut and the definition of the two children.

Ms Calvert said that of all the signs she and Jock Kinneir created for Britain’s road system, this was one of her favourites.

“This was one of my favourite signs, being based upon myself as a child. But I always shuddered to see recent examples on street, displaying such a travesty of my carefully crafted original.

“I was therefore delighted to work again on my design from 1962, and found that there were some subtle improvements I could make,” she said.

A spokesperson for the Department of Transport said: "As part of our recent reforms to the traffic signs regulations, we have updated the artwork for the school crossing sign, which had become degraded from the original over time. This has been produced at no cost to the tax payer.

"There is no requirement for authorities to replace any existing signs, but over time the new version will start to be seen as existing signs are replaced at the end of thier life."

Ms Calvert and Mr Kinneir’s signs came in to effect in in Britain in 1965. Last year the 50th anniversary was marked with an exhibition in London’s Design Museum.

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