Around half of the white line road markings on major highways need replacing immediately or soon, according to a survey. Just 16% of markings on motorways were deemed to be "excellent" in the survey of around 2,500 miles of roads in England by the Road Safety Markings Association (RSMA).
"It is shameful that half of the markings on roads in England are so worn out that they need to be replaced," said RSMA national director George Lee.
The poll found that 52% of markings on motorways, 42% on dual carriageways and 48% on single carriageways needed replacing immediately or needed to be scheduled for replacement right away. Just 13% of the markings on single carriageways were considered to fall into the "excellent" category.
The section of road which scored the lowest rating, with 94% of markings in need of replacing or being scheduled for replacement, was a stretch of the M3 between Bagshot and Camberley in Surrey. The section scoring the highest rating, with no markings in need of replacing and 99% deemed "excellent", was the A34 from the junction of the A44 (Kidlington) and the M40 (Bicester) in Oxfordshire.
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. "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."
A Department for Transport spokesman said: "Our roads are among the safest in the world. "Our motorways and key routes are the responsibility of the Highways Agency, who monitor the status of network and take prompt action to remedy road markings that need improvement.
"In the majority of cases the maintenance of road markings is carried out as part of planned work. The local road network is the responsibility of local highway authorities, and it is for those authorities to ensure that their roads are fit for purpose. The Government is providing over £3.4 billion in this Parliament and over £5.8 billion in the next for local highways maintenance."
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