Ah ok, for signals there's the distant signal with a yellow arm that gives you advance warning of the actual signal ahead. The AWS safety system rings a bell if the distant (and the signal) is clear, and if it's not clear, it gives a warning sound and you need to press space and be prepared to stop at the signal. If there's a special speed limit after the signal, the signal clears only after you're close to it and have reduced enough speed.
Most European countries use speed signalling where the signal itself shows a speed limit, but UK uses route signalling where the signal shows which route you will be directed to after the signal, and you need to know in advance what the speed limit for that particular route is.
Does this clarify things or make even more confused?