Saving paint on roads could be putting our lives on the line

The faded yellow box markings at the Pinchbeck Road and King's Road junction in Spalding.
The faded yellow box markings at the Pinchbeck Road and King's Road junction in Spalding.
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Councils are under fire for putting lives at risk by failing to maintain white lines on our roads.

Road safety campaigners say half of all road markings on council-controlled roads are so worn that they need replacing now or should be listed for re-painting.

The national director of the Road Safety Marking Association (RSMA), George Lee, said: “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 it cannot be seen, it puts lives at risk.”

Spalding pressure groups have highlighted several spots where road markings are faded or have virtually disappeared.

These include:

n A No Entry sign in High Street beside High Bridge;

n A Give Way sign for drivers entering Albion Street from The Castle Sports Complex;

n The Birds roundabout on Halmer Gate.

David Jones, from cycle group Pedals, said: “The white lines and markings are virtually gone at The Birds roundabout and that might possibly be a place where danger could be caused.”

He’s spoken to county highways about a virtually non-existent, painted No Entry sign on High Street, near High Bridge – but says it was lost through roadworks carried out by a gas company.

Mr Jones said the exit to Albion Street from The Castle Sports Complex is already difficult, but drivers “don’t know where to stop if the lines are not very clear”.

He is urging road users to report faded lines to the county council so they can be listed for repairs.

Rodney Sadd, from Spalding and Peterborough Transport Forum, says painted yellow box junctions around Spalding look “worn out” – notably the one at Pinchbeck Road/King’s Road – and there are faded lines at a crossing in Winsover Road, where a man in a wheelchair was hit by a car a few years ago.

Mr Sadd said: “On my journeys around Lincolnshire I would agree (with the RSMA) that the actual road markings are getting worn out.”

John Siddle, spokesman for Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership, said he can’t recall a single accident in the county that was caused by a faded white line – and says drivers cope well when lines are covered by snow because there are other signals, such as the Give Way signs on metal posts, that tell drivers what to do.

He said the lines are painted on a rotational basis and if any faded ones are reported they are put on the list to be done.

County council head of highways Brian Thompson said: “The (RSMA) survey shows that Lincolnshire compares quite well to the rest of the country, with 60 per cent of our lines seen as good or excellent.

“We spend more than £750,000 each year painting new lines and regularly inspect our roads to identify sections that need replacing. We’re also trialling new materials and techniques to make sure we get the best value for money that we can.”

n Report faded lines at and