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Whether you are learner driver or an experienced motorist, you can email any driving-related question to info@wycombedrivingschool.co.uk and you will receive a personal response from Wycombe Driving School boss Audrey Wixon, pictured. The best questions and answers will be published on this website anonymously.

Audrey is a DSA ADI; DIAmond, IAM and RoSPA Gold Advanced Driver; Fleet Trainer; Observer for Institute of Advanced Motorists; & National Standard cycling instructor

Audrey Wixon - manager of Wycombe Driving School
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Why do some roads have a white line at the edge?

Q: Some roads have a white line painted along the outside which, according to the Highway Code, is an ‘edge line’. It doesn’t say that you can’t park on these lines but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone park on them. What are the lines for?

edge line on roa A: It’s not illegal to park on an edge line. The line is just there to help drivers identify where the edge of the road is, nothing more.

It’s often painted where there is no kerb to distinguish the road surface from the verge, and so where there is a greater risk that drivers might run off the road. It's also used along roads prone to fog and mist, heavily-trafficked roads where headlamp dazzle is severe, at sudden changes of carriageway width and on bendy roads.

The edge line is particularly useful on bendy rural roads, where most fatal and serious accidents happen. It helps draw drivers towards the edge of the road, rather than the centre line where there is more danger, and it improves their assessment of the curve, reducing steering fluctuation around the bend. Having a road marked out so clearly also helps reduce a driver’s mental workload.

I expect you have noticed that the line becomes broken when it crosses an opening or lay-by. Watch out for those lines of dots ahead because it is very useful to have an advance warning of an entrance where someone could emerge into your path.

You may have also noticed on some roads, particularly in 30 zones, that the edge line has been painted quite far away from the verge or kerb. This gives the impression that the road is less wide than it is, which has a natural speed calming effect.
Audrey Wixon
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Wycombe Driving School - for driving lessons in High Wycombe and surrounding areas - including Amersham, Beaconsfield, Marlow, Hazlemere, Stokenchurch and Princes Risborough. We offer successful, structured driving lessons, providing free theory test software and lesson handouts. Male and female driving instructors are available, providing both manual and automatic driving lessons.