Road markings may be removed to slow drivers down

A study into road behaviour in Wiltshire could help inspire a country-wide removal of white line markings in an attempt to slow drivers down.

The study by Wiltshire County Council between 1997 and 2003 found that not reinstating the centre lines on a number of resurfacing sites led to a reduction in injury, collisions and traffic speeds.

Research has shown motorists drive more slowly on roads without the central white line - cutting average speeds by 13%.

Road markings may be removed to cut speeds Credit: PA

The Times reports that following trials in Wiltshire, London and Derby, pilot schemes have been drawn up in north Norfolk.

In a trial study, TFL found "centre line removal introduces an element of uncertainty which is reflected in lower speeds”.

The study suggeststhe centre line can provide drivers with a sense of confidence that no other drivers will "encroach" on their side of the road, and that some drivers may position themselves right next to the central white line because they believe it to be their right to do so - a practice that can lead to increased risk of collisions.

There is some opposition to the plans however - Paul Watters, head of roads policy at the AA told the Times "a simple pot of paint can save lives".