Saturday, 29 March 2014

Road markings putting lives at risk . . .

First potholes, now all our road lines are fading away: Half of all markings need repainting because of 'shameful' neglect that is putting lives at risk

Cited at:

  • Just one in six road markings on motorways in England has been deemed 'excellent'
  • Road Safety Markings Association calls the situation 'shameful'
  • 43% of Scottish road markings need to be repainted
  • Repainting (or painting for the first time) markings on major A roads could cut road deaths by up to a third

Half the white line markings on major roads need replacing because of ‘shameful’ neglect that is putting lives at risk, a new report concludes today.

The poll found that 52 per cent of markings on motorways, 42per cent on dual carriageways and 48 per cent on single carriageways in England needed a new lick of paint immediately.

The survey of 4,300 miles of road across the UK – including 2,500 in England – exposes similar problems in Scotland and Wales.

Potentially lethal: The M3 is in dire need of a paint job with 94% of its white markings between Bagshot and Camberley needing work (file picture)

The section of road which scored the lowest rating, with 94 per cent of markings in need of replacing or being scheduled for replacement, was a stretch of the M3 between Bagshot and Camberley in Surrey.

Just one in six (16 per cent) of markings on motorways in England and one in 8 (13 per cent) of the markings on single carriageways were considered to fall into the ‘excellent’ category, according to the survey of 2,500 miles of roads by the Road Safety Markings Association (RSMA).

RSMA national director George Lee said: ‘It is shameful that half of the markings on roads are so worn out that they need to be replaced.’

M3 Bagshot-Camberley 94%
A322 Bracknell-Bagshot 84%
A551 Hoylake-Liverpool 83%
A66 Middlesborough (westbound) 81%
M25 Grays-Dartford 74%
A2 Dartford-Chatham 74%
A14 Newmarket-Ipswich 66%
A14 Cambridge-M11 63%
M69 M6-Carlisle 63%
A123 Newbury Park-Grange Hill 62%

Details are revealed in a new ‘LifeLines report published on the road safety website:

The report says repainting road markings on major A roads, could cut road deaths by up to a third.

In Scotland some 43 per cent of markings need immediate replacement or need to be scheduled for replacement. The standard of markings is ‘of significant concern’ and in places ‘inadequate,’ says the report.

In Wales 63per cent of markings on motorways and 48 per cent on dual-carriageways need replacing immediately or need to be scheduled for replacement. Only 1 in 100 (1per cent) make the ‘excellent’ grade.

Mr Lee said: ‘Despite continuing to give assurances of their commitment to road safety, those responsible for the upkeep of our roads continue to neglect the most cost-effective safety device available to road engineers, the white line.

The M25 on an unusually quite day. The white lines on the stretch of road near the Dartford Tunnel need to repainted (file picture)

‘It is shameful that half of the markings on roads in England are so worn out that they need to be replaced. These markings have already been paid for because we, as taxpayers, are paying to have the roads maintained properly, including the markings, and this is just not happening. The robust evidence in our survey and in this report proves this to be the case.’

A914 Newport on Tay-Balmullo 84%

A92 Kirkaldy-Dunfermline 68%
A972 Dundee Bypass 62%
A915 St.Andrews-Kirkaldy 55%
A76 Dumfries-Kilmarnock 54%
A919 St.Michaels-Guardbridge 52%
A822 Glenloaning-Crieff 50%
A90(M) Perth-Dundee 48%
A811 Alexandria-Stirling 47%
A91 Milnathort-Yet o Muchart 45%

Mr Lee said: ‘The humble white line can save lives and it is therefore important that they are maintained to a sufficient standard that they do their job properly. If a line is so worn that it cannot be seen, it may as well not be there.’

He added: ‘If I went to the supermarket, bought a bag of apples, got them home and found that half of them were rotten, I am sure that every right-thinking person would agree that I should get my money back. 

‘With that in mind, what should our reaction be when we discover that half of road markings across all type of roads, whilst not rotten, are such a state that they are in need of immediate replacement or should be scheduled now for replacement?’

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