Road markings and reflective road studs

Road markings and road studs are used to define roads, bus and cycle lanes and traffic calming schemes. They make routes clearer for the road users, especially in darkness or poor visibility. They also help enforce parking or loading areas and reduce damage to the side of roads.

Yellow lines

Yellow lines are used to restrict parking to help maintain traffic flow, prevent obstructions on the highway and for safety reasons.

  • Double yellow lines indicate that there is no waiting at any time. Any exceptions to this will be displayed on signs attached to lighting columns or posts
  • Single yellow lines indicate a shorter period of restriction, such as daytime. Signs attached to lighting columns or posts will display the specific details

Loading restrictions are shown by yellow markings on the kerb.

Bus stop and taxi ranks are also shown by a combination of intermittent and continuous yellow markings.

Yellow box junctions help to prevent congestion at junctions.

Yellow zig-zag road markings are normally provided at school entrances to discourage drivers from parking and obstructing the view of pupils entering and leaving the school.

Yellow markings may also feature outside fire and ambulance stations to deter drivers from parking across the station exits.

White lines

White lines give different types of information to help road users.

White lines that run down the length of the road inform and warn road users of approaching situations which will require them to take some form of action, such as:

  • Solid white line - do not cross
  • Intermittent white line - lane line

Other markings give information such as lane use and direction.

Other lines can give instruction such as stop or give way.

Reflective road studs

Reflective road studs are used to mark the lanes and edges of the carriageway. Each colour marks a different part of the road:

  • White studs mark the lanes or the middle of the road
  • Red studs mark the left edge of the road
  • Amber studs mark the central reservation of a dual carriageway or motorway
  • Green studs mark the edge of the main carriageway at lay-bys and slip roads
  • Green/yellow studs indicate temporary adjustments to lane layouts (e.g. where road works are taking place)

Maintenance standard

We maintain our road markings and reflective road studs on a rolling programme set out in the table below.

Feature Maintenance Standard
Road markings on principal roads All road markings will be maintained.
Road markings on non-principal roads The following road markings will be maintained:
  • Stop and give way markings
  • Markings associated with traffic orders
  • Double line systems
  • Warning markings
  • Slow markings
Other markings will only be renewed if they are still required, after being covered by resurfacing work, or there is another identified need.
Road studs on principal roads All road studs are to be maintained.
Road studs on non-principal roads Road studs associated with double line systems and other mandatory markings (e.g. diagonal lines or chevrons edged by solid white lines), will be maintained as required.

Any loose road studs will be made safe.

Other road studs will only be maintained following resurfacing, and in response to specific hazards.

Report a problem

You can report a problem with road markings quickly and easily online or you can call 0800 0232334


If you prefer, you can view and download a PDF document of the information on this page. You will need Adobe Acrobat to view the documents which you can download from the Adobe website.