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Ambiguous road marking

Reported via desktop in the Road markings category anonymously at 12:12, Saturday 24 October 2020

Sent to Highways England less than a minute later

I was approaching the Markeaton island northbound on the A38. There are four lanes, Left hand lane is signed left or straight (A52 W or A38/M1 N), middle two lanes straight only (A38/M1 N), fourth lane signed right turn (A52 E) only. Signage and road markings agree. On the island the road markings become unclear. Drivers in lane three either go straight or turn right (A52 E). This caused me a problem as I was not expecting a car in lane three to turn right around the island towards A52 E. I collided with this car when I moved to the left ready to exit the island onto A52 E. My insurers say it was my fault as I changed lanes and that the driver of the other car was allowed to turn right as the lane markings in lane three do flow around the island, allowing vehicles to go straight or to the right. This disagrees with the other road signs and markings approaching and on the island.

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  • Thank you for contacting Highways England. We have passed you report regarding road markings A38 to our safety team who will review the issue and we will provide you with a further response.

    We aim to provide a further update no later than 5 November

    Kind regards

    Highways England

    Posted by Highways England at 08:31, Tuesday 27 October 2020

  • Thank you for your patience whilst our safety team reviewed your report. As you noted in your email correspondence the signing and line marking for drivers approaching Markeaton roundabout travelling northbound on the A38 indicates drivers in lane 4 should turn right toward the A52E, and drivers in lane 3 should continue straight across the roundabout toward the A38N.

    There is no physical barrier preventing a driver entering the roundabout in lane 3 from turning right toward the A52E, so while drivers following the signs and line markings should not be turning right from lane 3 towards A52E it is ‘possible’ for a driver to disregard the signs and line markings and perform this manoeuvre. As such any driver changing lanes on a multi-lane carriageway does also have a responsibility to check it is safe to do so prior to making a lane change manoeuvre.

    Whether the driver you collided with was in the wrong, or broke any road rules is not a judgement Highways England is in a position to make. We can point out that the highway code indicates that When changing lanes the onus is on the driver changing lanes to check that it is safe to perform the manoeuvre before doing so (133). However the highway code also say drivers should follow the signs and road markings and get into the lane as directed (134).

    Thank you for contacting Highways England and we hope this helps to clarify your position. .

    If you require any further update on this issue our Customer Contact Centre is available 24 hours a day at: • 0300 123 5000


    Please quote 21763253/11711554 to discuss this matter further.

    Kind regards Highways England

    Posted by Highways England at 08:48, Monday 2 November 2020

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