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The Traffic Cone

839 of 1160 nominations


The Traffic Cone

Is this an icon?


The Traffic Cone

Traffic cones are so common on England’s roads, and seem to spring up so quickly, that you could be forgiven for nominating them as an alternative national flower. Spotting them delicately strewing the roadsides like overgrown weeds is a sure sign of traffic hold-ups ahead. The life of a traffic cone is not all doom and depression, however. They like to get out and party just like anyone else. Such good company are they for drunken revellers that local authorities find themselves having to declare regular “cone amnesties” for the return of such midnight wanderers. They also have their place in public art: the Duke of Wellington’s statue in Glasgow is rarely seen without this tasteful contemporary accessory. And however uniquely fond we may be of them, it has to be admitted that the orange traffic cone, with or without the fetching reflective white stripe around its middle, is in fact an international phenomenon. The first traffic cone was invented in 1914 by American Charles P Rudabaker and the majority of the world’s orange traffic cones are made not in England but in China and Taiwan.

Photo: Maria Gibbs


Your comments

They are everywhere! I have spoken to friends who have travelled to many other countreis and all say that they have not seen so many anywhere else in the World as we see in this county! Yes...they may be useful, but the sight of them strikes fear in the heart of the public...they practically guarantee traffic jams and chaos! Unless you are a student...in which case you are not fearful...you merely steal one as a souvenir instead!


this the greatest icon in the world they are everywhere every day they are there used to save parking spaces outside houses road works and many other uses
alistair nicolson

Clearly not English, and from your own summary appearing to hold a greater sway in the Scottish psyche.
Derek Sinclair

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I nominate the red pillar box.

Donna Spencer