The geniuses working for Manchester Council demonstrated some award-winning decision-making last week, when they moved a legally-parked car onto double yellow lines - and then slapped it with a parking ticket.
Clair Morris had parked her Mazda MX perfectly legally near her home in West Didsbury, but when the council wanted to paint brand new double yellow lines along that side of the road, they just picked her car up and moved it to the other side. The tiny flaw in their plan was to move it onto double yellow lines on the other side of the road - so she was promptly slapped with a parking ticket.
33-year-old Clair tweeted a photo of her car and the ticket, adding that it was 'Off the scale" and suggesting: "I'm going to paint some lines under your building and stick a ticket on you. SEE HOW YOU LIKE IT."
BBC News reported that when they were made aware of their mistake a council spokesman said: "The car should not have been moved to a location with double yellow lines, and this ticket should not have been issued and will be cancelled. Our contractors apologise for this error and we are now insisting that they follow our strict codes of conduct."
Not the first
It will not come as a surprise (or any comfort to Clair) to realise that she isn't the first victim of council contractors, and their unusual decision-making. Here are five of our favourites.
1) In January last year Birmingham Council workers decided to install a row of bollards in front of a Tesco Express store in Hall Green. Unfortunately, they decided to install them in front of the shop's car parking spaces - rendering them unusable. Customers were reduced to parking in a nearby bus stop.
2) In May 2013 hard-working road painters painted zig zags and the word 'school' outside Woodfield Primary in Newton, Chester. Somehow they didn't spot the fact that the school had been demolished four years earlier.
3) A month earlier, contractors in Swindon were ordered to paint double yellow lines down all alleyways, to stop people blocking them. They enthusiastically carried out their instructions on all alleyways - including one where the lane was so narrow there were just 13 inches between the lines.
4) There have also been cases that have echoed Morris' experience. In March 2007, contractors in Bewdley, Worcester, lifted up a car, painted double yellow lines underneath, and then put the car back. On this occasion, the owner of the car returned before they were slapped with a ticket.
5) And finally, in Leeds in October 2003, contractors faced the same problem, but came up with an interesting alternative to moving the car: they painted round it. 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."
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