Road markings and road studs

Learn about road markings and road studs, which are used to define roads, bus and cycle lanes and traffic calming schemes.

Mandatory, regulatory and warning road markings and studs contribute to road safety by assisting highway users to identify safety risks, and separating potential traffic conflicts.  They help keep traffic to appropriate routes and also assist in delineation especially in darkness and poor visibility. Road markings also help to manage the enforcement of safe designated parking/loading areas. 

Report a problem

You can report a problem with road markings quickly and easily online using our Highways Reporting Tool.

If there is a problem with road markings or studs on a trunk road please contact Highways England on 0300 123 5000.

Road markings

Priority road markings are:

  • "Stop" and "Give Way" markings;
  • markings associated with traffic regulation orders (legal requirement for waiting and parking restrictions);
  • double white line systems;
  • warning centre line markings (4 metres line & 2 metres gap up to and including 40 mph roads and 6 metres line & 3 metres gap on the high speed network);
  • markings associated with formal pedestrian crossing places (e.g. signalised/zebra crossings) and mini-roundabouts.
  • junction protection markings 

If we replace the top layer of the road by resurfacing or surface dressing, road markings will usually be replaced once the new road surface has been laid.  However, this is dependent on weather conditions as lining in wet or damp weather can affect the quality of the work.

Please note that we may not replace the lines "like for like".  A number of trials around the country have demonstrated that the removal of some road markings can have a positive effect on road safety by reducing vehicle speeds.  This approach also supports the need for Suffolk Highways to reduce its ongoing maintenance liabilities.

Replacement of the lining and road studs will be made on a road hierarchy basis, this considers the usage of the road and strategic importance within the county network.  For more information on road hierarchies please visit Categories of roads, footways and cycleways

Road markings will be renewed following surfacing work as follows:

  • on road types 2 and 3a, we will replace all existing road markings;
  • on road types 3b, 4a and 4b, we will replace all priority road markings.  Other markings will only be renewed where a specific need is identified.
  • on road types 3b, 4a and 4b, we will not replace plain centre lines road markings (2 metres line & 4 metres gap up to and including 40 mph roads and 3 metres line & 6 metres gap on the high speed network) unless a specific need is identified

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)

Following surfacing work, road studs will be replaced once the road markings have been laid as follows:

  • on all road types, reflective road studs will not be replaced on 30 mph roads unless the road studs are associated with a priority road marking system or a specific need is identified;
  • on road types 2 and 3a, we will replace all remaining road studs;
  • on road types 3b, 4a and 4b, we will replace road studs associated with priority road marking systems and where previously installed in conjunction with warning centre line markings.

Maintenance standard

Road markings and road studs will be maintained in accordance with Our Highway Maintenance Operational Plan (HMOP) (PDF, 1,950KB).  

Only road markings classified as a "priority" that are identified as requiring maintenance during routine safety inspections will be added to the programme as an additional instruction.  

Priority will be given to road studs which give effect to regulations, double white line systems and systems of road studs on principal "A" roads.