Removing white lines on UK roads is ‘counter-intuitive’ to advent of driverless cars, says RAC
According to The Times, pilot schemes could be carried out in north Norfolk, following trials in London, Wiltshire and Derby.
Meanwhile a trial on centre line removal by Transport for London found a substantial reduction in vehicle speeds after the white lines weren't replaced following road resurfacing.
In response, RAC public affairs manager Nicholas Lyes said: “There may be some areas where there's a benefit but a lot where the disadvantages outweigh any potential benefits. And their removal would also likely lead to an increased ‘fear factor’ of driving and accidents for the majority of motorists who take confidence from clear road markings.
“We are also seeing the incorporation of ‘lane assist’ technology in modern vehicles reliant on the white lines to trigger an alert warning the driver that they are straying out of lane. The same technology is also being used in prototype driverless cars so it seems counter-intuitive to remove white lines from major main roads and motorways.
“It could be seen as a cynical attempt at road safety on the cheap and there will be some that are keen to suggest it is a cost saving, albeit a small one in the overall cost of road maintenance.
“It feels instinctive that white line road markings an essential feature keeping our roads safe and lanes clearly defined in both daylight and the hours of darkness. And we must not forget the development of cat’s eyes in the 1930s has been universally heralded as one of the greatest road safety improvements of all time used all over the world. The reflective glass spheres are a familiar and valuable sight for drivers reassuring them that they are travelling safely in their own lane in the hours of darkness.”