Glow in the dark roads not glowing

image copyrightAFP/Getty
image captionThe road markings were unveiled near Oss earlier this month

Glow in the dark road markings have been "faded out" from a stretch of road in the Netherlands as they are sensitive to large amounts of moisture.

The pilot project was unveiled earlier this month on the N329 in Oss, approximately 100km south east of Amsterdam.

The project aims to develop an alternative to street lights in areas where they are not present.

Engineers have said they will continue testing and produce a new version.

The paint used for the markings contains a "photo-luminising" powder that charges up in the daytime and slowly releases a green glow at night, doing away with the need for streetlights.

Once the paint has absorbed daylight it can glow for up to eight hours in the dark.

Rainfall issue

Since the road markings were put in place two weeks ago it has been reported that some drivers were driving along the road in the dark with their headlights switched off so that they could experience the glow in the dark effect.

Civil engineering firm Heijmans, which is running the pilot project with interactive artist Daan Roosegaarde, confirmed to the BBC that the road markings were sensitive to large amounts of moisture due to rainfall.

This meant the road markings were not giving out a consistent level of light.

In a statement Heijmans said: "As expected the 'real life' trial enables us to learn from the environment and users.

"We will use these insights to introduce an update to the Glowing Lines 2.0 version. In the meantime we have temporarily faded out the lining to prevent any confusing situations for road users.

"As planned we are working on developing Glowing Lines version 2.0, which will be ready for this summer. It will then be introduced on a larger scale in the Netherlands and abroad."

When the road markings were initially unveiled the UK Highways Agency said it would watch the trial with interest but said that previous studies had shown that "luminescent road paint would be unsuitable for use in this country".

It said it would take several things in to account when deciding whether to include luminescent road markings in its design standards. These would include how far in advance road markings could be seen, how skid resistant they were, how visible they were during the day and how they would perform in winter when there are fewer hours of daylight.

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