Drivers have called for a road improvement scheme by ITS (UK) member Clearview Intelligence to be replicated across all UK highways, with 91 percent citing improved visibility and 77 percent feeling more confident driving at night.
Last year, Highways England worked in a collaborative partnership with WJ Group and Clearview Intelligence to deliver long term improvements along a 10 kilometre stretch of the A38 in Derbyshire.
Traditional retro reflective road studs were replaced with Clearview’s SolarLite Active Road Studs and WJ Group used high visibility lane marking and a high friction surface to minimise the risk of skidding.
Since its completion, more than 700 drivers living near to the scheme completed a survey regarding the improvements, with 87 percent of respondents now feeling ‘reasonably’ or ‘totally’ safe using the road, compared to just 28 percent before.
Andy Salotti, Director of Solutions at Clearview Intelligence said: “From an industry perspective we have already had confirmation that this scheme has been successful with a win at last year’s Highways Awards. But it is important to remember that it is the opinion of the end user – the driver – that ultimately matters as every road improvement scheme is delivered for their benefit.
“These results were gathered from drivers living within 20 miles of the upgrade and who use this route regularly. To have received such overwhelmingly positive feedback demonstrates just how positive and effective this partnership scheme has been.”
Highways England was tasked with bringing an older road up to modern standards without the ability to amend the layout and ensuring minimal disruption to road users on the busy A road.
The objective was to deliver a lasting, 20-year solution that would improve the road users’ experience, increase visibility for drivers and require minimal future maintenance to avoid disrupting the 23,000 motorists who use the road daily.
Clearview’s SolarLite Active Road Studs can be seen from up to 900 metres away and have an operational lifespan of up to 10 years – up to four times longer than retro reflective studs.
Because they can be seen up to 10 times further away, they provide up to 10 times more reaction time for drivers. Therefore, whilst a driver travelling at 62mph would only have 3.2 seconds to react to a change in a road layout using traditional studs, the SolarLite alternative can offer more than 30 seconds reaction time.
The studs have proved popular with survey respondents, with many describing them as “amazing” and likening them to “airport runways”.
Drivers also reported feeling “a lot safer” with some describing it as “the best road in the country”. Others said the scheme should be replicated on “every road in the country” with additional feedback stating the upgrade would be “great across the UK” as it “had the potential to save lives”.
Andy Salotti said: “Everything we set out to deliver through this project has been achieved – and then some. By working in collaboration, Highways England, Clearview and WJ Group have delivered a successful initiative that we, the wider highways industry and most importantly motorists can be proud of. With that in mind, we are pleased to have received the go ahead for the commencement of the second stage of the A38 improvements scheme at Little Eaton over the next few months.”