Lane markers on English highways.

Something that stands out for me when I see documetaries and things filmed in England (and elsewhere in the UK), is the highway paint. It’s all generally recognizable, and aside from everything being on the wrong side of the street I think I could figure it all out if I ever find myself attempting to navigate a motor vehicle around the island.

One the other hand, some lane markings are very different form anything I’ve seen here. I’m referring to the squiggly bits. Perhaps “squiggly” isn’t the best word, since the curves on both sides seem to match perfectly, and don’t appear to be the results of the paint truck guy having too many pints at lunch. Maybe “serpentine” would work better.

My natural instinct upon encountering lane markings like that would be to try to follow them by swerving from side to side, but I have to believe that that would be wrong. I really wouldn’t know what to do if I were cruising around all fat, dumb, and happy, and suddenly the lane dividers got all swervy.

So what do they mean?

I can’t picture the road markings you are describing, do you know if they only occur on highways (or motorways) or on minor roads as well?

You can view the section of the Highway Code concerning road markings here and see if any of that looks like what you describe, but I don’t think it does.

Perhaps it’s a variant of the “SCHOOL KEEP CLEAR” marking near the bottom of mittu’s document, which means “No stopping, even to drop off or pick up passengers”.

We have zig-zag markings before and after pedestrian crossings which mean “no parking lest thee be led to the tower and have thy head cut off”. Is that what you mean?

Or could it just be the white lines that follow the edges of the road - except the roads are wiggly.

BTW it’s the whole of the UK, not just England.

I suppose I should go find a photo, but that would be a little like doing my own research. If I wanted to do that why would I post the question here? I guess I’ll do it anyway. You guys are tough.

I didn’t see the particular markings I’m asking about anywhere in mittu’s reference, and I really hope I’m not imagining something.

On this page, just above “NOW TEST YOURSELF!”, it has two diagrams, of “Zebra and pelican crossings’ zig-zag lines” and “Keep school entrance clear.” Was it like either of those?

We do have some “traffic calming measures” in built up areas that include chicanes and occasional lines at the side of the road - to confuse the driver and make them slow down (amazingly it really works) - but they’re few and far between.

From the description given it doesn’t sound like a zig zag would fit, it sounds like the markings are more curvy than angular. My Dad is a driving instructor so I will ask him about it when he gets back, he has almost encyclopedic knowledge of the rules of the road so might be able to shed some light on it.

As per usual, I doofused this question up. I can’t find a picture, because my Google-Fu is weak, and I assume that if I knew enough to compose a proper search string I’d already know the answer to my stupid question.

To clarify: I’ve seen these things in aerial shots of places like Leeds and London, which is why I went with “England” instead of “UK”, and since they appear to be on multi-lane city streets the term “highway” is probably wildly inappropriate. They might lead directly up to major intersections, but I can’t really be sure.

I don’t know how to provide a better description. They’re just like regular street paint, but wavy. Not gentle curves, either. The peak to peak distance appears to be about a car length.

Could they by any chance be the signs warning that oncoming traffic has priority, usually shown on narrow streets/roads.

These lines are a gradual curve towards a small traffic island.

Here’s Leeds on Google maps. Maybe zoom in a bit and move around until you find some, then post the link here via the “Link to this page” button?

Here’s an example in Leeds of the zig-zags Giles mentioned. You’re sure this isn’t what you mean?

That’s it exactly.

'Tis what I mentioned in post #4.

Well, they are just your common or garden wiggly lines that I for one have never seen or heard of before.

So it just means “no parking”? Over here we paint the curbs yellow.

I’ve never seen those before.

No, I think it’s stronger than that: it means no stopping, i.e., no letting passengers get in or out, or picking up or dropping off goods. (Of course, since they are associated with zebra crossings, you can stop to avoid hitting pedestrians on the crossing, or other cars stopped for those pedestrians.)

I think those who haven’t seen them before simply haven’t been paying attention (rather like me for failing to credit jjimm as the first person to identify them). They’re common enough near pedestrian crossings.

There’s a zebra crossing, albeit just a single carriageway, just outside my house and it has the same white zig-zag road markings.