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Safer Highways to conduct road marking survey from Land's End to John O’Groats

End to End 2021

A national survey of road marking performance on the Strategic Road Network.

Safe | Compliant | Future-proof

Coinciding with the 12 month anniversary of the release of CS 126 and in collaboration with Quality Marking Services Limited, Safer Highways shall undertake a the single largest independent retro-reflectivity survey within the United Kingdom. Covering approximately 3,000 miles and taking in sections from all area networks around the country, the route shall start at Land’s End and navigate through Wales and up the west side of England before reaching Scotland and heading across to John O’ Groats. The return journey will meander down the east side of the country before crossing back and forth through various network sections and finally returning to Land’s End to finish.

QMS LifeLineTM is a mobile retro-reflectivity survey delivered using the latest laser technology Laserlux LLG7 retro-reflectometer. Scanning the road surface at 400 times per second and averaging the results every 100m in accordance with CS 126, plus recording the retro-reflectivity and positioning of every road stud throughout the route. The QMS LifeLineTM system secured the Road Safety Marking Association Innovation of the Year award in 2019 and Greg Clark, Managing Director of QMS said, “it is a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with Safer Highways and carry out this End to End survey. Obtaining nationwide results for road marking performance will demonstrate the compliance of the SRN against the CS 126 & BSEN ISO 1436 standards.”


The survey will provide a snapshot view of the performance of road markings throughout the country on approximately 3,000 miles of the strategic road network which is estimated that 95% of the country’s residents use at least once per year.


Retro-reflectivity performance of road markings is essential for road safety in the hours of darkness and the increases in performance specification detailed in CS 126 is a clear commitment from Highways England to improve road safety on the network. The introduction of Automatic Lane Keeping Assist within vehicles relies upon a road network that the vehicles can see, in the dark as well as during daylight hours. Therefore, ensuring the retro-reflectivity performance of the road marking is compliant with the standards is essential for the future-proofing of our nation’s roads.


About CS126

In March 2020, CS 126 (formerly TD26/17) was introduced for the Inspection and assessment of road markings and road studs.


The document is published by Highways England and is accepted by Highways England, Transport Scotland, Welsh Government and Department for Infrastructure.

CS 126 provides general information to support the inspection and assessment of the road marking and road stud asset. It specifically clarifies the risk-based approach when considering renewal of these assets.


The document recognises that if the is a failure in the performance of road markings, this will affect their legal status or that of an associated statutory position. The proliferation of road markings can have a detrimental effect on the visual environment and comprehension by the road user. Road safety can be affected by the reduction in the visibility and legibility of road markings.


Road markings are a critical part of the highway, guiding road users safely along their journey. For road markings to perform correctly, they need to be visible during the day and also at night through retro-reflectivity. This is the ability of a road marking to reflect light from a vehicle’s headlights back to the driving position of a vehicle.

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© 2020 SO Media Group 

On behalf of Safer Highways

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