The quality of the UK’s road markings is in rapid decline, according to a new survey of white lines carried out by the Road Safety Markings Association.
According to the ‘LifeLines’ report, the percentage of motorway markings classified as needing immediate replacement by the Highways Agency’s own standard has doubled from eight to 17 in the past two years.
The Road Safety Markings Association says that the DfT and Highways Agency are failing to grasp the urgency of the problem, and their call for action is endorsed by Jim Fitzpatrick MP, shadow transport minister.
According to the report, 38% of markings on motorways and 36% on dual carriageways maintained by the Highways Agency in England need immediate or scheduled repairs. More than 40% of markings on Scotland’s and Wales’ motorways and dual carriageways also need immediate replacement.
George Lee, national director of the Road Safety Markings Association, said: “This latest survey shows that in spite of the Highways Agency having a standard by which its markings are measured and maintained, there is clear evidence of significant decline.
“Standards are being inconsistently implemented, and it would appear that there is little or no monitoring.
“The Scottish Government and the Welsh Assembly Government have both signed up to the TD26 maintenance standard so they are as much at fault as the HA in failing to enforce the standard. It is only local Government that has no equivalent standard, but we know from experience that where decline is seen in HA-maintained roads, local authorities will follow.”
Jim Fitzpatrick, shadow road safety minister, said: “Cutting back on our road markings means cutting back on safety. Markings make the road easy to read for the driver and are by far one of the most cost-effective safety solutions.
“The DfT are watching the pennies whilst motorists are driving on unsafe roads. This is one basic safety feature we cannot cut back on.”
Click here to download the report.