Council paints yellow lines down tiny alley

the alley

An alley in Swindon - far too narrow to squeeze a car down, has been painted with double yellow lines on each side. The lane is so narrow that there's only 13 inches between the lines.

Locals near Newhall Street in Swindon have been bemused by the move - but this isn't the first time councils and contractors have foxed us with their unpredictable uses of yellow paint.
The alleyway painting remains a mystery. Swindon Borough Council told the BBC they would be taking the matter up with their contractor. They admitted that they had instructed the contractor to deal with the issue of illegal parking in alleyways - and it seems they may have gone too far.

According to the Mirror, the council claimed that contractors had forgotten how wide a car is when they made the decision to paint the lines.

However, this is far from the only time that a council has gone awry with a tin of yellow paint. In April 2007 North London took a similar approach with a stretch of cycle-path that was only just wide enough to squeeze a pushbike down.


In December 2011, locals on Stafford Street in Norwich highlighted the yellow lines which had been painted just 41cm long. They were used to distinguish a permit parking zone from a two-hour limit bay, but the council admitted that the decision to use double yellow lines for this may have been absurd.

This didn't stop Canterbury council following suit in September last year, or Cambridge County Council copying the practice in April. They are using the lines to distinguish different sorts of parking bays - on the assumption that people will find it easier to interpret double yellow lines shorter than a typical ruler than they would some clear signage about who can mark in each bay.

Car craziness

Then there was the time in March 2007 when a motorist in Bewsdley, Worcester, narrowly missed getting a parking ticket, after contractors decided to lift up her car, paint the lines underneath, and move the car back. A traffic warden had been at the scene before the motorist returned, but local office workers had spotted what was going on and explained it all to the warden.

Contractors in Leeds in October 2003 got around the problem by simply painting around a parked car on Hyde Terrace. A council spokesperson said at the time: "We will speak to the contractors to remind them to use common sense when painting temporary road markings in the future."

However, this doesn't mean we are free to take matters into our own hands. An Edinburgh man was charged by police in 2003 for painting over double yellow lines outside his house. He was apparently annoyed by the decision to bring in restrictions after a hospital opened nearby, so he took matters into his own hands.

But are these the most stupid road markings you have seen? Let us know in the comments.

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Council paints yellow lines down tiny alley
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