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3M is helping to patch up Britain’s roads


20 March 2012

Over recent years, the UK has experienced a rise in severe winters, including heavy levels of snowfall. This has caused major disruption and damage to the UK’s transport road system, not to mention a significant impact on society and the economy.

This adverse weather can cause roads to deteriorate faster and defects such as cracking, frost heaves and potholes need to be constantly rectified, at an enormous additional cost to local authorities. This is an on-going battle that local authorities now face each winter, requiring dedicated and detailed planning to ensure that repairs to the road surfaces and markings are carried out quickly and efficiently.

Road markings are often taken for granted by road users; however, they are an essential part of road safety especially in extreme wintery conditions. Turn off any major route onto a minor road or country lane where there are no road markings and it becomes immediately obvious how valuable they are. Road markings are a critical means of conveying information to drivers, helping them decide the actions they should or should not take and their overall contribution to road safety cannot be overstated. Without clear signs and visible road markings, drivers lose vital information that guides them on their journey.

Poor performing road markings fail to delineate the path and drivers can lose their ‘place on the road’, increasing danger to themselves and other road users.

The Road Safety Marking Association (RSMA) 1 Life Line Survey reported that of the 1000+ miles surveyed on more than 60 single-carriageway A-roads, on average, 14 per cent of road markings were completely worn out due to over use and exposure to extreme weather and a further 29 per cent fell into the ’amber’ zone, requiring immediate replacement.

An additional study from the RSMA in 2011, the White Lines Saves Lives Survey2, also highlighted that the quality and performance of road markings in the UK has significantly decreased with the overall standard of road markings dropping to 2006 levels with 10 per cent of all road markings requiring immediate replacement.

The figures from the RSMA surveys reinforce that the adverse weather in recent years has contributed to the deterioration of the UK’s roads and byways.  Unfortunately when local authorities are facing budget cuts and are constantly reviewing spending, they now have the additional worry of short freeze-thaw cycles contributing to the increasing decay of the UK’s road systems.

As road surfaces are fixed, most road markings need to be reapplied or amended as applicable and in a bid to correct the problem, local authorities need to be careful not to adopt a ‘quick fix mentality’ despite the pressing need to scale back their budgets.  However, modern technology and new cost effective solutions are now helping reduce these limitations.

For situations that require temporary road markings and repair work, 3M has developed the temporary Stamark Road Marking Tape Series A710SD to offer a simpler, quicker, brighter alternative to painted or thermoplastic road markings. Stamark Tape by 3M helps local authorities find a more cost effective solution to road marking and an alternative to road line marking paint and thermoplastic.

To enhance the offering of the Stamark Tape range, 3M has recently launched its latest solution for patching and repair work, the Stamark Road Marking Tape Series A310AWSD (white) and A311AWSD (yellow). These are highly reflective, conformable multi-layer permanent road marking tapes that provide long lasting and effective road lines. They have been developed to provide an additional solution to patch and repair work on roads, minimising disruption and cost of work carried out on roads across the UK.

The construction of the Stamark Tape range includes a specially designed mesh system that helps to keep the tape intact and increases durability and resistance to tearing in high shear situations. This tape is ideal for roads or areas that experience a higher level of traffic. Both tapes can be applied directly to the road surface without the need or use of a primer or any additional preparation.

Additionally, the tapes can be used to create symbols for urban and rural environments. The new Stamark Tape A310AWSD (white) and A311AWSD (yellow) complement the rest of the range and offer a complete solution to repairing road marking safety.

3M is a world leader in developing innovative solutions for the traffic safety market. Its wide product range includes reflective sheeting for traffic signs, vehicle conspicuity markings, licence plate reflective sheeting, road marking tapes and surface applied road studs. For more information about 3M Traffic Safety Systems visit www.3M.co.uk/traffic or call 01344 857950.

3M and Stamark range are trademarks of 3M Company.


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The McOnie Agency
Contact: Hannah MacLeod
Tel: 01483 237230
Email: h.macleod@mconieagency.com