Road markings in Wales not up to standard, RSMA claims

10/03/2014
Highways Reporters

A report carried out by the Road Safety Markings Association (RSMA) claims that the majority of markings in Wales are in a poor condition.

LifeLines Wales, a report based on a survey of 600km of the road network controlled by the Assembly for Wales, found road safety markings falling below UK-recognised standards.

Some of the main findings in the report include:


  • 63% of road markings on motorways need replacing immediately or need to be scheduled for replacement


  • Only one per cent of motorway markings make the “excellent” grade


  • Nearly half (48%) of markings on dual carriageways need replacing immediately or need to be scheduled for replacement.


Head of the RSMA, George Lee (pictured), said: “We have conducted this year’s LifeLines Wales survey to find out precisely what the state of road safety markings are throughout the country. The report will not make comfortable reading for those responsible for maintaining the lines on these roads.

“Over 60% of road markings on Wales’s motorway network are of such poor standard that they either need replacing immediately or need to be scheduled for replacement. In fairness, other types of road do score better, but none comes up to the recognised safety standard, and that should not be acceptable.”

The highways industry generally accepts that road markings are the most cost-effective safety device available to road engineers, according to the RSMA. Markings guide road users, provide advance warning of potential dangers ahead and create a safer environment for all using the shared space, be they motorists, pedestrians, cyclists or motorcyclists.

Lee adds: “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.

“As with other parts of the UK, we hope that those responsible for maintaining these roads in Wales, the Assembly, will take serious note of this report and work to improve the quality of road safety markings on the roads.  In doing so, they will considerably enhance the safety of roads in Wales.”

The section of road surveyed which scored the lowest rating with 93% of markings in need of replacing or in need of being scheduled for replacement was a section of the A449 Newport to Raglan. The section of road surveyed which scored the highest rating with just 16% of markings in need of replacing or in need of being scheduled for replacement was a section of the A40 from Raglan to Fishguard.

To view the LifeLines Wales Report click here. Lifelines England will be published on Wednesday (12 March).
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