23 July 2019
On 20th July 2019, the DfT announced that they have awarded £2 million to develop the most thorough understanding ever of Britain’s road markings.
Poor road markings pose an issue for all road users, and can make it difficult for road users to distinguish whether they can park on the side of the road, overtake or know how wide a lane is. This means road user safety can be put at risk due to a lack of clarity.
By having analysis on the quality of near 100,000 miles of road, the department will have a clearer-than-ever picture of where investment is needed.
DfT will undertake the health-check in close partnership with the Local Council Roads Innovation Group (LCRIG). LCRIG, will be supported by Gaist’s machine learning AI technology that will review close to 150 million high definition (HD) images of our roads.
The Road Safety Markings Association (RSMA) is fully supportive of the announcement and the evidence base it shall provide to improve road safety in Britain. Stu McInroy, chief executive of the RSMA, said:
“We welcome the DfT announcement of a ‘national examination of road markings to help improve road safety’. Such a study is long overdue and will, I believe, provide hard evidence of the decline in road markings and the associated increase in road safety risk to the public.
“Government must stand ready to act on the findings of the LCRIG/Gaist study and provide to Local Authorities sufficient ring-fenced funding to reverse the decline in road markings so evident to the public.
“There will also be an obligation upon Local Authorities to make decisions not on the basis of cost, which usually means cheapest, but on obtaining the best value for money solutions for the tax payer. Application and maintenance of road markings by National Highways Sector Scheme 7 certified contractors is the most cost effective way of improving road safety.”