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Different to see in when low sun and driving towards the sun

Reported via mobile in the Faded / Hard to see (NH) category anonymously at 01:54, Wed 23 August 2023

Sent to National Highways less than a minute later. FixMyStreet ref: 4918469.

The M27’s surface is a mix of black tarmac and very light (buff) *concrete* - this is regards the light concrete stretches - when driving towards the low sun (east in morning and west in evening) it is hard/almost impossible to distinguish the white lane markings on the light concrete surfaces as the low light dazzles drivers. I don’t use this stretch often but whenever I do I always struggle (middle aged man with glasses but good eyesight/driver imho) - the tarmac (black) sections are fine but the visibility drastically drops to 10–20% in parts depending of the sun and the road surface. Given its now four lanes with multiple junctions meaning lots of jostling for exits and entrances and resulting land changes and this stretch curves and weaves around the Southampton conurbation for several miles it is clearly extremely hazardous - as people end up having to guess somewhat where their edge of the lane is in relation to parallel drivers. The contrast between the very light concrete road surface in places and the dotted white lines is extremely difficult to easily distinguish. Anecdotally last week I was travelling behind a vehicle which drifted into straddling two lanes for hundreds of metres - despite me flashing them - they seemed oblivious to their predicament. This stretch has a regular steady stream of accidents (many fatal) with cars reported apparently veering across lanes to hit either central barrier or into adjacent vehicles. Its a busy and congested stretch with lots of junctions hence lane changes - on/off especially during rush hours which coincides with low sun in sky. Mentioning it to other M27 users they readily agree - adding it’s almost impossible to see the lanes with any standing water along these light concrete stretches also. In clear contrast the intermittent tarmac (black) sections are drastically easy to quickly distinguish the lane markers. I would be keen to know if this is a known and understood risk / defect along this specific stretch and if any resolutions are tabled to improve its safety.

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  • I pointed this out to Highways England about 9 months ago. They said they were in discussion with the contractors about it. Nothing done so far but par for the course for them. This is on a stretch of motorway that constantly suffers delays as a result of crashes !!!

    Posted anonymously at 15:16, Thu 24 August 2023

  • Thank you for making your report. We have asked our inspection team to attend this location and assess the issue. If any work is needed, they will arrange for this to happen. Should no immediate work be required we will continue to monitor this during our regular inspections.

    Although we always aim to complete repairs as quickly as possible, timescales do vary as we try to minimise disruption to customers by combining activities into single closures and always ensuring the safety of our people.

    Kind regards National Highways

    State changed to: Internal referral

    Posted by National Highways at 08:17, Fri 25 August 2023

This report is now closed to updates from the public. You can make a new report in the same location.