Highways England have a 4-year Research Strategy aimed at driving innovation. One of the areas identified for specific research is the application and removal of road markings. HE have for some time been concerned about the impact of this procedure, due to driver uncertainty as to the actual lane direction, where removed or masked lines still appear as a contrast to the surrounding surface; plus, cracks and potholes caused when the surface breaks up under removal of the old lines with water-blasting or shot-blasting techniques.


In addition to the cost of removal and application, significant damage to the road surface, caused by the various removal methods used, is adding substantial surface repair costs to the complete scheme. Hence whole life costs are escalating.


Of further significant concern is the whole life cost of road markings, particularly where roadworks require the removal or masking of existing markings, application of temporary lines and their subsequent removal which can add substantial surface repair costs, followed by the re-application of permanent markings.


Research Competition Objective

HE are sufficiently concerned by the performance and cost questions raised by the road marking systems currently used that it has made finding a solution one of its key research strategies. Consequently, the company is sponsoring a research project in how to overcome these issues.


They are therefore inviting companies to submit their solutions for a road marking material and removal system which provides the required on-road performance, whilst avoiding or significantly reducing road surface damaged when removed, which will in turn enhance customer experience. Any entrants who do not have a bespoke removal system should specify what system should be used.


Each company can submit a maximum of 2 products per category from the following to ensure a full range of products are considered:

•        Thermoplastic

•        Water-based paint

•        Cold plastics

•        Tapes

•        Other products not specified in the categories above


For further information, and to submit your interest, please visit: https://highwaysengland.co.uk/innovation-hub/comp-roadmarkings/