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‘Stupid,’ ‘Bizarre’ Lines Draw Laughs

Friday, May 3, 2013

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It was both confusing and amusing when a contractor in a UK town painted double yellow lines in an alleyway, leaving only 13 inches of space between them.

But the fix was what really set people off.

The reason for the yellow lines, the Swindon Borough Council explained, was to alert people not to park in there. Local residents had asked the council to "deal with illegal parking in alleyways," the BBC reported.

Under most circumstances, that would seem like a  reasonable thing to do.

But when the alley is barely big enough to fit a gang of toddlers on Big Wheels? "It's one of the stupidest things I've ever seen," local Ray Mudhar told the Swindon Advertiser.


Contractors in Swindon, UK, painted double yellow lines in a narrow alleyway to prevent people from parking there. With only 13 inches of space between them, it left area residents calling it "one of the stupidest things" they had ever seen.

"When me and my mate saw it, we were just laughing our heads off. It's a waste of time, waste of money and waste of material," Mudhar said.

'Even More Bizarre' Fix

A Swindon Council spokesman told the Advertiser, " seems that our contractors forgot just how big cars actually are when they painted this one. We will be taking it up with them."

And take it up with them they did, adding an extra layer of amusement to the situation by sloppily painting over the yellow lines with black paint.

When the yellow lines went down, residents described it as bizarre. Now they are calling the cover-up job  "even more bizarre," the Times of News reported.

A spokesman for the Swindon Council said that the black paint is only temporary. "The lines will be burnt off, but in the meantime they have been painted over as a temporary measure," he said.

Times of News

Swindon Council said the black paint is only temporary and the lines will be "burnt off."

"It was decided [the yellow lines] should be removed, because we want drivers to know that when they see double yellow lines, they are there for a good reason, and are capable of being enforced," the spokesman said.

"These particular lines didn't get close to meeting either criteria."

He added that the council would not be paying for the cost of repainting the lines or removing them.

Tourist Attraction

Some residents said the yellow lines had become a bit of a tourist attraction after the blunder received international attention. 


One local resident said the lines became a bit of a tourist attraction, and she even saw people with maps trying to locate them.

Liz Adams, who lives near the alley, told the Swindon Advertiser, "I saw people come up the road with maps just to have a look at them."

"It just looks very ugly now. There are just black lines, and it's not attractive at all."

"The council have ruined it now, though. They should have just left it alone, because it's certainly not an improvement," said Adams.


Tagged categories: Roads/Highways; Traffic control; Traffic paint

Comment from Mike McCloud, (5/3/2013, 8:07 AM)

So...It's not just our government...

Comment from John Fauth, (5/3/2013, 8:44 AM)

Government... a single word describing the absence of common sense.

Comment from Andrew Piedl, (5/3/2013, 3:00 PM)

From what I read, it seemed that the mistake was made by a contractor.

Comment from John Fauth, (5/6/2013, 8:47 AM)

I just can't get this image out of my head.... Government Agency to Contractor: Paint yellow lines in the alleys to discourage illegal parking. Contractor to Government Agency: Which alleys? Government Agency to Contractor: All of them, of course.

Comment from Jerry Trevino, (12/31/2013, 11:49 AM)

If you want your parking, You can Keep your parking. Period. If you like your parking program you can keep it. End of story, Period, these lines are just a glitch.

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