Councillor gets to keep the parking bays he painted himself

A parish councillor who painted his own set of yellow lines outside his Gloucestershire home to deter other motorists from parking there will be allowed to keep his handiwork after the council deemed the cost of removing them a waste of money.

Paul Syrett, an IT director, took matters into his own hands in an effort to secure parking places outside of his home. The 46-year-old marked out two parking bays with bright yellow paint on a residential road in Stroud.

Mr Syrett had already told neighbours that he owned the land directly in front of his house, and the lines merely denote the extent of his property according to the title deeds. As an elected member of the Woodchester Parish Council, Mr Syrett ought have a working knowledge of such matters – he sits on the planning committee.

Nevertheless, Gloucestershire Highways disagreed, stating that as the land is a public road his rights to ownership do not apply and the yellow lines are not legally enforceable. The agency instructed Mr Syrett to remove the markings, but he refused.

Despite the questionable status of the markings and complaints from other residents, the council has decided that it will not pursue the matter as it doesn't want to face the possibility of a legal challenge as a result of returning the road to its original condition.

Speaking to the Stroud News and Journal, Chris Riley, the manager of Gloucestershire Highways, said: "Although these lines are on the public highway, they do not pose a threat to safety in any way and currently, we have no plans to spend taxpayers' money removing them."

The agency has reassured My Syrett's neighbours that they are free to park in his self-appointed bays.
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