The writing’s on the wall, but not on the road

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The UK’s road markings are vanishing at an alarming rate, with well over half of white lines in Scotland and Wales almost non-existent, and England’s road markings faring little better.

A snapshot survey of nearly 500 miles shows that, on average, 50.6 percent of the UK’s road markings surveyed are barely visible.

The proportion of roads falling into the “emergency repairs” bracket stands at 23 per cent, while less than seven per cent of road markings score the highest rating.

The Road Safety Markings Association (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 local authorities.

RSMA national director George Lee says: “These findings are shocking. There is a clear, direct correlation between deadly roads and deadly road markings when we examined the 10 most dangerous roads.

“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 authority roads and is presenting the findings of this survey to the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety next week.