NEARLY 100 road markings on routes across Worcestershire need 'urgent' repainting, according to a hard-hitting report which criticises councils for allowing them to fall into a poor state.

The Road Safety Markings Association has produced a dossier categorising routes across the country for the condition of what it calls the "humble white line".

As part of the study it collected data from four miles of roads in Worcestershire and says state of the county's markings are "above average", but has warned of a "relatively large" number of routes in need of urgent attention based on the sample.

Eighty per cent of the white lines surveyed in the sample were deemed 'satisfactory' and two per cent 'good', while 16 per cent are deemed to need new permanent markings within 28 days to meet national guidelines.

Across the country 12 per cent got the top grading, which means Worcestershire is lagging behind in terms of having excellent markings, but it is doing far better in terms of routes rated as 'satisfactory', where the average is just 50 per cent.

The association has called for fresh investment from councils, saying too many authorities are failing to keep road markings in an acceptable condition.

George Lee, a director at the body, said: "Despite assurances of their commitment to road safety, those responsible for the upkeep of our roads continue to neglect the most cost-effective safety device available to road engineers, the white line.

"The humble white line can save lives and it is therefore important they are maintained to a sufficient standard that they do their job properly - if a line is so worn that it cannot be seen it puts lives at risk."

The association says Worcestershire compares reasonably well to other authorities, but must do more to bring down the tally of markings which need attention.

Although it has not released details of the exact roads, across Worcestershire it says 96 markings were flagged up as in need of fresh repainting.

Councillor John Smith, cabinet member for highways and transportation at the county council, said: "Some roads in Worcestershire are not as wide as we'd ideally like, and in those cases we would deliberately not put white markings on them.

"But we'll certainly look at the statistics the group has come up with and seek to improve routes in the county where we can."