History Of Road Markings

The first ever road markings were seen in 1918 – it was the solid white line. During the 1920s the rise of painted lines on roadways developed dramatically. In 1926 official guidelines of where and how white lines on roads should be used were set out.

The white lines were used as “stop” lines, at intersections and police or traffic lights controlled the traffic flow at these intersections on the roadways.

Around 1944 white lines had more meaning. They were used to keep traffic in correct lanes. It was also used at this time to help drivers to define the border of the carriageway they were travelling on and those entrances to side roads and lay-bys.

When the 1950s came around, yellow lines were introduced and the restrictions on waiting, loading and unloading. 1959 marked the decision that double white lines were to be used to control overtaking. More road markings were introduced in the 1960s with the yellow box intersection; these appeared at busy road junctions to ease the flow of traffic. In 2002 the yellow line system was adapted for the new millennium.

Every road marking provides information and regulation for the road-user. These markings are painted in a similar style, which means that road-users will easily recognise them.


The road markings are usually done with a special spray machine and applied to the road at a very slow pace to avoid mistakes from happening. Painting the roads is not very expensive but it doesn’t offer the grip that rival systems do. The paint is extremely hard and not easy to remove.

Hot Applied Thermoplastic Road Markings

Advantages of road markings include good durability, transfers from the machine to the road is quickly, cheap and have a high skid resistance. This form is used throughout the network as a permanent marking.

Temporary Road Marking Tape

When transferred onto the road it is durable for at least three months. It offers good skid resistance but is quite expensive and is slow to apply due to the nature of having to lay it. It will not stick to the road in wet or cold conditions.

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