Agenda item

Scrutiny Review of Road Markings - update report

Report by the Director of Communities, Economy and Transport.



35.1     The Contracts Manager, Highway Infrastructure Services introduced the report which is a final update report on the implementation of the recommendations from the Scrutiny Review of Road markings report. The Department’s updated response to the recommendations is contained in appendix 1 of the report.


35.2     The Committee considered the report and a summary of the discussion of the report is given below.


Frequency of line marking

35.3     The Committee asked whether the Council was now able to renew road markings more quickly than before. The Contracts Manager, Highway Infrastructure Services outlined that the highway maintenance base budget for road markings has been increased as part of the new highways maintenance contract and there is a one road marking team working all year round. Part of the capital budget is also spent on road markings which is used for the machine laid programme of renewing road markings. The Highways Team is also spending an additional £500,000 on road markings that was allocated by Cabinet after the scrutiny review. At present there are two teams working on renewing road markings around the county.


35.4     The Committee asked if ESCC has a duty to maintain road markings under the Highways Act. The Contracts Manager, Highway Infrastructure Services explained that local policy sets out how often line markings are renewed. Consequently, the frequency of maintenance is based on local, not national, policy.


35.5     The Committee enquired about the priority of maintenance for road crossings and other road safety markings. The Contracts Manager, Highway Infrastructure Services set out that all road markings are there to create a safe environment for road users and the maintenance frequency priorities are set by local policy. If road markings important for road safety are worn (e.g. for crossings), they will be refreshed. The Council uses a risk based approach and Highway Stewards can request road markings to be refreshed as part of their routine inspections.


Renewing road markings where road surfaces are deteriorating

35.6     The Committee commented that it some situations the poor condition of road surfacing may prevent road markings being renewed and asked what happens in these situations. The Contracts Manager, Highway Infrastructure Services responded that road markings are replaced when carrying out road repairs and the teams will look to renew road markings as part of capital road maintenance schemes. In general, road markings will not be renewed on road surfaces that are damaged and will be replaced after repairs have been carried out.


Autonomous Vehicles

35.7     The Committee commented that road markings are becoming important for the use of Autonomous Vehicles which need to calculate their position on the road. This may become an issue in future if Autonomous Vehicles come into widespread use and start using roads across the road network.


Road markings for parking enforcement

35.8     The Committee commented that a lot of the road markings in built up areas were associated with parking bays or parking restrictions and asked whether there was a case for using the parking enforcement budget further to keep road markings refreshed. The Contracts Manager, Highway Infrastructure Services commented that the highways team do respond to requests from the Parking Team to renew road markings for parking enforcement. However, the requests do not constitute a significant amount of work or cost.


Impact of the recommendations on road safety and traffic management

35.9     The Committee asked whether the scrutiny review report had made a difference to road safety outcomes and traffic management. The Contracts Manager, Highway Infrastructure Services responded that ESCC is responsible for providing a safe road network and the service does not have a high level of safety issues related to the way the network is managed. It is difficult to provide direct evidence of the impact of the report, but it has helped maintain the status quo of a safe environment for road users.


35.10   The Committee RESOLVED to:

1) note the updates to the recommendations and action plan set out in Appendix 1; and

2) sign off the review as complete, with all recommendations now being embedded as business as usual.



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