White lines disappearing at ‘alarming rate’

09.55 | 5 March 2012 | | 7 comments

The UK’s road markings are vanishing at an ‘alarming rate’, with well over half in Scotland and Wales almost non-existent and those in England faring little better, warns the Road Safety Markings Association (RSMA).

A RSMA survey of almost 500 miles of road reveals that, on average, 50.6% of the UK’s road markings are barely visible. The proportion of roads in need of ‘emergency repairs’ stands at 23%, and less than 7% score the highest rating.

By contrast, a survey carried out 12 months earlier on the UK’s 10 most dangerous roads showed that 23% of centre lines fell into the lowest category while 31% qualified for the highest rating.

The RSMA carried out the latest spot-check across a range of motorways and major A roads managed by the Highways Agency, and lesser A and B roads managed by councils.

George Lee, RSMA national director, says: “These findings are shocking. We could see a clear, direct correlation between deadly roads and deadly road markings when we examined the 10 most dangerous roads identified by the Road Safety Foundation.

“Now, just a simple cross-section of roads – arguably representative of the entire network – shows a level of deterioration that defies belief.

“We recognise that the UK is currently under huge financial pressure, but road markings are widely recognised to provide the best, most simple navigation aid to drivers, and to be the most cost-effective road safety measure and it is time we gave drivers the vital clues they need to use our roads.”

The RSMA is advising Government on extending the rating standards used by the Highways Agency to cover local council roads and will present the findings of this survey to the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS).

For more information contact Becky Hadley on 020 7808 7997.


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    We read all to often about the degredation of our road surfaces and the danger which we all have to suffer for whatever reason and the lack of available funding to repair and maintain our crumbling road infastructure.

    However the government can give something now in the region of £700 million for cycle paths and storage for same at railway stations.


    bob craven Lancs
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    If you hold down the Ctrl key and spin your mouse wheel the font will increase in size

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    There isn’t any revenue, unless “they” raise taxes.

    Are we in favour of paying far more in tax for all those things that could be “fixed tomorrow”?

    Resources are always finite therefore benefit is not enough, Cost/benefit is key.

    Dave Finney – Slough
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    If they brought in revenue they`d be fixed tomorrow !!!!!

    Alan Duckworth, Lancs..
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    Its not so much the main lines in the centre of the road, it’s the STOP and GIVE WAY lines at junctions that are most likely to corrode as drivers stop and accelerate away from them.

    bob craven Lancs
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    Inadequate or masked signs or road markings as contributory factors in collisions 2005-2010:

    2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
    Fatal 16 13 8 9 3 3 average 9
    0.6% 0.5% 0.3% 0.4% 0.2% 0.2% average 0.4%

    KSI 105 90 83 85 56 65 average 81
    0.4% 0.4% 0.3% 0.4% 0.3% 0.3% average 0.4%

    All 783 683 655 555 505 520 average 617
    0.5% 0.5% 0.5% 0.4% 0.4% 0.4% average 0.5%

    If the RSMA had surveys of road marking qualities over that period these could be compared to their frequency in accidents.

    Dave Finney – Slough
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    You could make the font on this site even smaller if you really tried!

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