The Institute was saddened to hear of the recent death of Geoff Bray, a pioneer of excellence and simplicity in traffic signing and street lighting, and their relationship to urban design. Geoff was an inaugural member of the traffic signs committee that IHE set up to run its annual conference and other events. This became particularly active when DfT encouraged IHE to create a professional accreditation for traffic sign designers. Lots of meetings and documents resulted, in all of which Geoff was a key participant. The Professional Certificate that this group produced was first available in 2007 and since then has become the de-facto standard for people working in this field. Geoff was one of the initial assessors, a task he undertook with great professionalism and geniality towards the candidates.
This IHE group continues as its Traffic Signs Panel, on which Geoff was involved as recently as March this year, commenting on draft DfT documents and spotting errors and potential improvements. As a tribute to Geoff, a speaker at this year’s IHE signs conference on 29 November will mention one of his pet hates: mis-shapen speed limit road markings.
Geoff was a true gentleman, always helpful and engaging and a great expert on traffic signing generally. But his outstanding contribution to signing and lighting was on schemes such as the award-winning Kensington High Street, for which his sense of the aesthetic came to the fore. At a time when this was unfashionable, he was fully aware of the concept of the road as a place where people lived and worked and could enjoy passing through. This led him to be a champion of good street design and the avoidance of clutter, and he jointly led several training days promoting this concept.
Geoff made an enormous contribution to improving the design and use of traffic signs, both in his own work and his encouragement of others to strive for excellence. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him through the IHE and in the world of traffic engineering and urban design.