Removal of Centre Lines from some roads
Leicestershire's Director of Environment and Transport has produced a report looking at the implications of not replacing road centre lines following surface dressing treatment on certain roads.
This would reduce costs and have a positive effect on the character of the location, especially in rural areas or areas of historic importance. In addition, without a centre line, a road appears narrower and if drivers have no defined area of carriageway that is ‘their half’, studies show that they will slow down to reduce their perceived risk of a collision.
In 2003, Wiltshire County Council commissioned the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) and the Civil Engineering and Environmental Management Associates (CEEMA) to investigate the effects of removing centre white lines. Their report, “An evaluation of the effect of removing centre white lines” reached the conclusion that, in the absence of a white centre line, uncertainty is created which encourages drivers to reduce their speed. Specifically, the evidence shows that drivers
- Travel closer to the kerb-line
- Adopt a more stable lateral position on the road
- Have a 40% increase in lateral separation from oncoming traffic
- Reduce their speed when they are close to oncoming vehicles
- Travel marginally slower when they are close to oncoming vehicles compared to drivers on a road with a centre line
Significantly, the Wiltshire experiments also produced a 35% reduction in accident rate.
The suitability criteria are that the road must:
- not be an A or B classification
- be in a village or village-like setting
This has been discussed in the cyclenation webforum and it has been suggested that a general rule could be introduced that the speed limit for all roads without a central line marking would be 20mph.