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Should we remove white lines to cut down on road accidents?

PUBLISHED: 08:17 10 August 2018 | UPDATED: 08:23 10 August 2018

Research has shown that the removal of central lines may help to reduce accidents on the roads Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Research has shown that the removal of central lines may help to reduce accidents on the roads Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Research has found that the axeing of central linage may encourage people to drive more cautiously.

It might sound like madness to even the most lax of motorists, but research suggests that removing certain road markings might actually lead to safer driving conditions.

A study carried out by Transport for London on three major roads in the city argued that the withdrawal of central lineage and hatching instantly removed “the psycological sense of confidence to drivers that no vehicles will encroach on their side of the road”.

Researchers also claimed that “centre line removal introduced an element of uncertainty which reflected in lower speeds and driving much more cautiously”.

The most significant reduction measured was on Seven Sisters Road in north London where the average speed of southbound traffic fell from 32.4mph to 28.3mph – more than a 14% drop.

An earlier Transport Research Laboratory report concluded that there were safety benefits to be gained by removing centre lines, especially in 30mph zones.

Research conducted by Wiltshire County Council also found that not reinstating centre lines after resurfacing work in 2003 led to a reduction in collisions.

Closer to home, in Cavendish, which has a 30mph speed limit, the Speed Watch recorded – on a very limited scale – 2,683 vehicles driving well in excess of the limit, 28% of which drove at over 40mph during 2017.

Should Suffolk or Essex County Council consider removing white lines on the roads? Let us know your thoughts in our poll.

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