And finally… End of the road for white lines on motorways

White lines are being removed from busy roads across the UK in an attempt to slow down motorists.

Highway chiefs say blank roads introduce a sense of uncertainty that prompts motorists to drive more cautiously, especially when faced with oncoming traffic.

Research shows removing the central white line, a feature of British roads for almost 100 years, can reduce the average speed of a vehicle by 13 per cent.

Recent resurfacing in London saw the central markings on three A roads erased.

Transport for London, which manages major roads across the capital, told The Times the system used on parts of the A22 and A23 in south London and the A100 in central London may now be expanded to other roads.

Plans for a pilot scheme in north Norfolk have also been drawn up and trials have taken place in parts of Wiltshire and Derby.

Road safety charity RoadPeace has applauded the initiative saying that “self enforcing schemes” are key to reducing speeding as road policing budgets are cut.

Motoring groups, however, have warned removing white lines could be “fatally flawed”.

Paul Watters, head of roads policy at the AA, told The Times: “Without exaggeration it is true to say that a simple pot of paint can save lives.

“In particular, highly visible markings at the edge and centre of the road that can be seen on a wet night are enormously cost-effective in saving lives.”

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