WHAT DO THE MARKINGS ON THE ROAD MEAN?
There are two categories of road markings, regulatory and non-regulatory.
Road markings may be defined as markings on the surface of the road for the control, warning, guidance, or information of road users. They may be used to supplement upright signs, or they may be used alone.
There are 9 classes of road markings, however, the list below and the examples given are not exhaustive.
- Transverse markings, which are at right-angles (or thereabouts) to the centre line of the carriageway.
- Longitudinal markings (including double line systems).
- Hatched markings.
- Worded and diagrammatic markings.
- Markings indicating parking and loading requirements.
- Bus and tram markings.
- Cycle track markings.
- Yellow box markings; and
- Road studs.
Road markings are provided in accordance with regulations or directions of the Minister of Transport and may be laid only by, or on behalf of, the Road Authority, such as your local council. Some road markings indicate a legal requirement (for example the transverse Stop Line, or longitudinal parking restriction markings) and may be accompanied by regulatory signs.
Road Markings Transverse Lines
Indicates the position in advance of which a vehicle must be brought to a complete halt.
Tram Stop Line
Indicates the point beyond which a light rail vehicle shall not proceed when stopping in compliance with the appropriate regulatory sign or traffic signal.
Imposes a requirement on all approaching traffic to yield to conflicting traffic.
No Entry Line
Indicates to drivers the point beyond which entry is prohibited. It also indicates the position at which a driver emerging from a one-way street must yield to conflicting traffic
Guide and confine traffic to its correct lane, the lines have an important bearing on safety, besides ensuring that all the available carriageway space is used to its maximum capacity.
Centre Line Markings
Usually positioned on the geometric centre of the carriageway; however, they may be laid off-centre in certain situations, such as where parking is provided along one side, and on roads with an additional lane in one direction (e.g., a bus, cycle or climbing lane).
Longitudinal markings are used as warning signs and can be enhanced by increasing the line-to-gap ratio. Where forward visibility is restricted, or on the approach to some other hazard (e.g., a roundabout or other junction).
Where crossing of the centre line is to be prohibited, the longitudinal marking should be a Continuous Centre Line usually on the approach to a hazard located on the centre of the road, such as a physical island, a bollard or a ghost island sheltering a right-turn lane.
Edge of Carriageway Lines:
The standard Broken Edge of Carriageway Line consists of a 2m mark and a 2m gap in yellow. A continuous yellow line is used exclusively on motorways to indicate that trafficking of the shoulder is not permitted
Hatched markings consist of two elements – the bounding line or lines, which may be continuous or broken, and the hatching itself. Hatched markings may be bounded by a continuous line where entry to the hatched area is prohibited or by a warning line where entry is not prohibited.
On single carriageway roads the diagonal hatch is most commonly used to separate streams of traffic travelling in opposite directions. Chevron hatching is used to segregate traffic travelling in the same direction (for example at splitter islands on one-way streets).
Word & Diagrammatic Markings
The worded STOP marking is used to supplement the transverse Stop Line or No Entry Line at a road junction
Is used at junctions when a transverse Yield Line or No Entry Line is provided and may be accompanied by a Yield Sign or Mini-Roundabout Sign.
The worded SLOW marking is used to supplement a warning sign on the approach to a hazard or road junction. The marking may be composed of either the 1600mm or 2800mm lettering: the larger size is recommended for use on high-speed approaches. The location of the marking will depend on the nature of the hazard. In general, it should be located sufficiently far back to enable a driver travelling at the normal speed of the road to reduce speed in time to negotiate the hazard in safety.
The worded LOOK LEFT and LOOK RIGHT markings are intended to warn pedestrians of approaching vehicular traffic at locations where traffic may be approaching from an unexpected direction, such as on a one-way street or between channelising islands.
School Keep Clear
The School Keep Clear Marking consists of the word “SCOIL” painted on the carriageway in 700mm yellow letters with a zigzag pattern of yellow lines and indicates a section of road which must be kept clear. The marking is not normally placed on the side on which the school entrance is situated
School Warden Crossing
Used to indicate the location of a School Warden Crossing Patrol Point which must also be kept clear.
Parking & Loading Markings
A continuous Single Yellow Line indicates that parking of vehicles is prohibited or restricted at certain times on that side of the road. The prohibition or restriction, e.g., the times and days, must be displayed on signs as described in Chapter 5 of the Traffic Signs Manual (2019).
A continuous Double Yellow Line indicates that parking of vehicles is prohibited at any time on that side of the road. There is no requirement to provide upright signs to supplement this marking. However, it should be noted that if the double yellow line is laid to reinforce the standard prohibition on stopping within 5m of a road junction, this may lead to misinterpretation that loading is permitted
A Loading Bay is indicated by lines forming the loading bay which are white and 100mm wide. The wording ‘LOADING’ must appear at least once in each loading bay but shall be repeated on bays greater than 10m in length and shall be parallel to the kerb and facing towards the centre of the roadway. The terminal points of the loading area shall be indicated by double continuous lines perpendicular to the kerb.
Bus & Tram Markings
Bus Stop – Bus Stop Markings are used to indicate the location of a bus stop, where they supplement a kerbside upright Bus Stop Sign, or to indicate the location of a bus stand. They indicate the area within which vehicles other than buses may not stop or park.
Bus Lanes – Bus lanes may be either ‘with-flow’ or ‘contra-flow.’ The edge(s) of the bus lane that segregate(s) it from lanes of general traffic shall be marked by a continuous white Bus Lane Line, prohibiting vehicles which do not provide a public transport service from using them. The taper at which the line is laid should not normally exceed 1:10, but in exceptional cases may be reduced to 1:5. The legend LÁNA BUS, will be marked on the carriageway across the lane close to its start and repeated after each junction. The continuous line is replaced by a Broken Bus Lane Line to allow other vehicles to enter when approaching junctions to make left/right turns.
Tram Lines – Where trams (Light Rapid Transit vehicles) operate on the carriageway adjacent to lanes trafficked by other vehicles, the extent of the tram lane shall be indicated by a 250mm wide continuous white lines, except where this coincides with the centre line of a roadway between the tram way and an adjacent traffic lane. To clarify the area of carriageway used by trams, the ‘LÁNA TRAM’ Worded Marking, is laid at appropriate locations, in the same manner as LÁNA BUS Worded Markings.
Where trams (Light Rapid Transit vehicles) operate on the carriageway adjacent to lanes trafficked by other vehicles, the extent of the tram lane shall be indicated by a 250mm wide continuous white lines, except where this coincides with the centre line of a roadway between the tram way and an adjacent traffic lane. To clarify the area of carriageway used by trams, the ‘LÁNA TRAM’ Worded Marking, is laid at appropriate locations, in the same manner as LÁNA BUS Worded Markings.
Cycle Track Markings
Cycle track markings are used in conjunction with other road markings and are accompanied by the regulatory signs. Cycle track markings are white and smaller versions of markings used for general traffic. Where a cycle track is marked on the nearside of the carriageway, the outer edge should be indicated by a continuous white Cycle Track Edge Line, which prohibits other vehicles from crossing and will be supplemented by an information plate stating times that restrictions apply. A broken line indicates that vehicles may cross the line if required.
Yellow Box Markings
Yellow Box Markings are provided to aid traffic flow. They may be used at road junctions (including roundabouts), at junctions with tram tracks, at railway level crossings, the exits to bus lanes, or other locations as deemed appropriate by the road authority, where blocking back affecting a cross flow is a significant problem. The carriageway is marked with yellow lines to form a box enclosing yellow cross-hatched diagonal lines. The boundaries of a yellow box marking are formed by 200mm wide continuous yellow lines. Two diagonal lines join opposite corners, or projected corners, of the box, and lines are then drawn parallel to each diagonal to form cross-hatched marking in yellow. The diagonal lines are 150mm wide and spaced 2000mm apart where the shortest boundary line of the box is 9000mm or less, and 2500mm apart where the shortest boundary line of the box is greater than 9000mm. Box junctions usually have to 10% of the length of any side may be cut away as shown in the diagram to accommodate corner kerbs. The overall shape of the marking and the number of cross hatching lines will vary according to circumstances.
Road studs shall comply with EN Standards and should be of a type approved for use by Transport Infrastructure Ireland for national roads, or the Department of Transport for other roads. In urban speed limit zones, where street lighting is provided, studs will not be necessary. However, in the case of higher speed urban and rural roads and rural national roads, lit and unlit, all centre lines, lane lines, edge of carriageway lines and hatching have reflecting road studs on the mainline and on all associated road links such as slips, interchange links and loops.