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Local authorities stand accused of putting road safety at risk by failing to maintain the most cost-effective safety tool “ the humble road marking.

Half of all road markings on England’s local authority controlled are so worn that they need replacing immediately or need to be scheduled for a replacement now, according to a survey of 1,200km of the country’s locally controlled roads.

LifeLines England, a report based on the survey carried out by the Road Safety Markings Association, found that 47 per cent on dual carriageways, and 50 per cent on single carriageway local authority roads all need replacing immediately or need to be scheduled for replacement now. The survey, the most comprehensive published of its kind, also shows that just 12 per cent on all local authority controlled carriageways in England make the excellent grade.

The poor performance of local authorities was met with dismay by National Director of the RSMA, George Lee: Despite 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, says Lee.

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

Candidates standing for election as councillors in the upcoming elections should give a commitment to prioritise road safety on the local authority road network. Voters can, quite rightly, demand that they do just that.

The RSMA is encouraging all road users to highlight failed road markings by reporting them online at Every input alerts the local council to fix the road.

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 puts lives at risk, concludes George Lee.