| Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise


Download our free BWater Works Coating Systems eResource Book

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

Painting Outside the Lines … of Reality

Friday, September 30, 2011

More items for Program/Project Management

Comment | More

This is what happens when you don’t spell out everything on a project.

Painters in the UK’s Essex County are about to embark on their third attempt at what seemed to be a simple job: lining a single parking space for a severely disabled child along a busy residential street.

The first try wrapped the space around a street lamp. The second wedged it up against a flight of public stairs. The third attempt might involve moving the pole.

The child’s mother is disgusted, and taxpayers are furious.

Strike 1

The flap began in February, when the Essex County Council finally agreed to a longtime request by resident Rebecca Fairchild to have a designated disabled parking space near her home.

Fairchild’s son, Joshua, 5, has autism and epilepsy, and needs extra time and space to get out of the car safely, said his mother, who fought 10 months for the space.

After waiting weeks, Fairchild returned home one day to find a freshly painted space—inexplicably— surrounding a lamppost.

 Parking space surrounding lamppost
Strike 1:  Rebecca Fairchild and son Joshua show the parking space that was painted to help the family of the disabled child.

“I thought it was some kind of a joke,” a stunned Fairchild told reporters. “I just couldn’t believe somebody could do that. But when I realized it was there to stay, I wasn’t laughing.”

Fairchild said the lamppost had not been in the plans her family had been sent to review. Nevertheless, the work crew apparently “ignored what was in front of their eyes and followed the plans to the letter,” she said.

‘It’s just ridiculous,” she said. “We’re totally mortified by the whole thing. Who in their right mind would put a disabled bay around a lamp post?”

Other neighbors with disabilities were also outraged. Said one: “When I first saw it with the lamppost in the middle, I was in shock and it became a laughing stock,” she told the Daily Mirror. “People stopped and took photos.”

Strike 2

The contractor on the job was May Gurney Infrastructure Services, which has offices throughout the UK. The parking space remained there for days, until the Council ordered the contractor to move it.

“May Gurney is sorry for the confusion that has led to this disabled bay being inappropriately located, and we will be moving it as quickly as possible,” a company spokesman told the Daily Mail.

 Parking space blocking public stairs to housing complex
Strike 2: Painters move the space but place it directly in front of public stairs to a housing complex.

Officials said the contractor paid to redo the work. (A spokeswoman for May Gurney said Friday that the company would have no immediate comment.)

When the paint crew returned, however, it moved the space about three feet and directly into the path of a flight of public stairs to Fairchild’s housing complex, blocking both pedestrians and anyone trying to exit the car.

Strike 3?

Now, officials plan to move the space back—after they move the street lamp. The council also plans to install a new zebra crossing Oct. 11 on the same street.

That cost, which has not yet been disclosed, will be borne by taxpayers, a spokesman for Essex County Council told the Daily Mirror.

 The third try will involve moving the lamppost
Strike 3? The third try, officials say, will involve moving the lamppole.

“We are trying to accommodate the needs of all residents concerned and plan to reassess the location of the disabled bay once a new zebra crossing is installed on the same street,” a County Councilman said.

Said one neighbor: “In a way, I’m happy it is being moved again, so everyone is happy with where it is.

“But the whole thing is ridiculous.”


Tagged categories: Contractors; Project Management

Comment from Simon Hope, (10/3/2011, 9:31 AM)

I am amazed that they managed to get the spelling right!

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

SAFE Systems, Inc.
Portable Dust Collectors for Tough Environments

Trailer and skid-mounted models in numerous sizes, powered by electric and/or diesel. Sloped roofs, multiple dust inlets, high static, dampered fans. Lockable power & drive compartments.

Clemco Industries Corp.
Powerful Protection in a Small Package

Mounts inside blast helmet, alerts operator to dangerous breathing-air condition by audible, visual, and vibratory alarms. Easily calibrated, battery operated.

Novetas Solutions
Number 1 Crushed Glass Abrasive in America!

6 NEW plants coast to coast! Safe for environment, 100% recycled glass. White Metal Finish! No unsafe toxins like Beryllium & Arsenic!
Call 866-775-6226

Sidewinder/Persyst Enterprises, Inc.
The Sidewinder Model M2 Solvent Recycler

Combat the rising cost of gunwash, thinners, acetone & more while drastically reducing waste disposal coat.

SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings

Join SSPC and Enhance
Your Career !

Fischer Technology Inc.
MP0R with rotating display screen

View your coating thickness readings from any angle with rotating display screen. New graphic display with easy menu navigation. Click for Video
Call 800-243-8417

Atlantic Design, Inc.

Many service issues can be easily solved over the phone. When you do need parts, ADI has most in stock for all your blasting needs. 866.Call.ADI

Climate Control...delivered.

Temporary climate control equipment. Dehumidifiers,
Heaters, A/C, Power, More…
Toll Free: 866-379-2600

Minerals Research & Recovery


“Made in the USA!”

Why recycle waste from other countries? Go FASTER, CLEANER, at 1/3 THE COST with MR&R “All-American” Sharpshot®HP!!


Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker

EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us

© Copyright 2000-2015, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail