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17 March 2010
DRIVING WITHOUT A CLUE: BRITAIN’S WORN-OUT ROAD MARKINGS
NEARLY 33% of
the length of Britain’s single carriageway A roads have white lines
so worn out that they do not meet recognised standards, according to
the LifeLines Report, an assessment of more than 1,500 miles of the
network. And, Britain’s most dangerous roads have the most worn-out
centre-line markings of all, leaving drivers clueless when trying to
read the road, says the report released by the Road Safety Marking
66% of all UK road deaths and serious injuries are on rural A roads.
Yet, of more than 60 single carriageway A roads surveyed, totalling
more than 1,000 miles, on average 14% of road markings are
completely worn out; and a further 15% fall into the “amber” zone
and immediately should be scheduled for replacement. Just 29% of
lines reach the acceptable level of visibility.
On one of the worst roads in the survey – a 5 mile section of the
A6135 between Ecclesfield and junction 36 of the M1 (Hoyland) – 75%
of the markings are either barely visible or need an immediate
schedule for replacement and just 1% make the grade. 2 other
sections of road have nearly half their marks worn out: the A645 in
Yorkshire / Humberside and the A509 in Northamptonshire.
2 single carriageway A roads stand out in the LifeLines Report: a
14-mile stretch of the A1133 in the East Midlands, where 75% of the
road markings are up to the standard (although this figure was 93% 2
years ago); and 10 miles of the A63 between Leeds and Hull coming a
The quality of markings on major A roads is in line with those on
motorways. Of the 470 miles of A roads and motorways surveyed, 20%
falls below the minimum specifiable standard and should be scheduled
for replacement while 8% have centre line markings so worn that they
are barely visible. A high proportion of markings – 39% dual
carriageways and 38% motorways make the recommended rating used by
the industry but there has been a significant drop in the quality
since 2008, when 69% of markings on duals reached this grade and 49%
Top marks go to the A303 dual carriageway, which has 86% high
quality markings; and the M65 in Lancashire with 91%. At the
bottom of the motorway league is the M61 in the north-west, with
more than 25% of the motorway having barely visible markings; and
20% of markings on dual A road, the A27, fail to make the grade.
“These motorways and strategic A roads are managed by the
Highways Agency, which has clearly specified standards for the
quality of road markings. 2 years ago, just two per cent of our
major road network had markings that rated virtually non-existent.
This figure has risen at an alarming rate, and now, nearly a tenth
of the centre lines our trade routes are dangerously worn.
Most of the single-carriageway A roads in the survey are managed
solely by local authorities. The RSMA is concerned that Highways
Agency ratings for road markings have never been formally adopted by
local authorities, leading to inconsistent maintenance standards on
UK roads and the potential for the significant maintenance
shortfalls identified in the RSMA report. The high risk of head-on
collisions on single-carriageways means centre-line markings are
critically important to guide road-users safety on these roads.
It is the Government’s role to provide well-researched and informed
guidance for local highways authorities when it comes to specifying
safety measures,” says Lee. “I believe that this year’s LifeLines
Report presents evidence of sufficient public concern to merit an
inquiry by Parliament’s Transport Select Committee, and that’s
something we will seek. Road markings provide the best, most simple navigation aid to
drivers, who must to be able to ‘read’ the road at every turn.
Without this most modest of investments, motorists are driving blind
when we can, in fact, save lives for the cost of a pot of paint.” says George Lee, national
director of the RSMA.
HOME COOKED CLASSICS ARE BACK ON THE MENU
appetite for molecular gastronomy, foodie fads and cooking trends
has been revealed as merely voyeuristic, with the ‘Heston effect’
failing to translate in the region’s kitchens. According to
research, the UK is still very much a nation of Rosbifs, with
traditional British dishes dominating family meal times.
► The classic roast dinner is the most popular home cooked dish,
with 59% of Liverpudlians regularly serving up meat, veg and gravy.
► Cottage pie is the second most frequently cooked meal – 50% of
Liverpool’s adults prepare it on a regular basis – and casserole is
the third most popular (45%).
► Hearty British staples appeal to home cooks over and above the
cuisines of Italy, Asia and India; by contrast just 14% of cooks
regularly serve risotto, whereas 44% make a curry and 36% prepare a
According to the ‘Kallo Stock Cubes Home Cooking Report’, 32% of
those in Liverpool serve a home cooked meal every day, with 79% of
Liverpool families eating home cooked food at least 3 times a week.
The appeal of home cooking has grown markedly as the economic dip
has pinched Liverpool’s household budgets.
► 62% of Liverpudlian families have turned to home cooked meals as a
way of saving money and 64% have bought fewer ready meals.
The new popularity of home cooking has also been attributed to
nostalgia, with family recipes forming an important part of the
household cook’s repertoire.
► In Liverpool, 63% of people regularly cook dishes from their own
childhood and 72% claim to have learned cookery basics from their
Commenting on the ‘Kallo Stock Cubes Home Cooking Report,’ Trevor
and Sally Oliver – parents of Jamie Oliver – said:- “We’ve
both been cooking since we were youngsters and always felt it was
important to involve our children in the kitchen and teach them the
We love traditional home cooking; whether it’s a Sunday roast with
sponge pudding or a midweek casserole, a home cooked meal is a great
excuse to get your family around the dinner table.”
When it comes to meal times, 39% of Liverpool’s families make the
effort to sit down and eat as a family every day, whereas 78% manage
to enjoy a meal together at least 3 nights a week.
While home cooking has seen an uplift, 53% of Liverpool, though well
intentioned, don’t have the time to cook everything from scratch.
Many follow the example set by Delia’s ‘How to Cheat’ series,
classifying themselves as ‘combination cooks’ using a mixture of
fresh ingredients and short cuts. And despite the wide
availability of new spices, flavours and produce, Liverpool’s home
cooks prefer to stick to what they know, with 84% admitting that
they have a reliable list of tried and tested dishes from which they
Alexis Garrett, Kallo Foods Brand Manager, said:- “A good home
cooked meal is hard to beat and is one of life’s most simple
pleasures. Traditional British dishes like roasts and pies can be
comforting, filling and very economical, which goes a long way to
explaining Manchester’s rekindled taste for home cooked food.”
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