Thursday, October 14, 2010

Double yellow peril

It started more than a year ago, with a circular from the council. There was a proposal to extend the parking restrictions up from the bottom of our road.

It was called the Various Roads, Outer Area, Bath: Prohibition & Restriction of Waiting Order 2009.

And as is right and proper in a democratic society, we were offered the chance to comment.

Which we did. And delivered our comments by hand to the wrong letterbox in Keynsham, two hours before the deadline. (Thanks, kind Keynsham person, for sending them on.)

The months passed, the council considered the views of objectors and supporters, and eventually ruled in favour of the original proposal. Not only was democracy done, but it was seen to be done. All very right and proper, even if our objections were overruled.

We sat down (metaphorically) to wait for the yellow lining lorries to arrive and lengthen the existing double yellows.

Then the winter came, and the snow, and the potholes. And still the yellow liners didn’t come.

Spring passed, and summer too. The potholes got worse, the yellow lines stayed the same length.

Then, in late summer, a second notice arrived from the council: the road was to be resurfaced. Regular readers will know all about that episode: casual browsers will be spared the gripping details.

Anyway, the road was resurfaced, and we waited for the double yellow lines to be replaced. In our naivety we thought that someone might do some joined-up thinking and implement the Various Roads Order.

They didn’t. Here’s what actually happened.

The coning people coned off an area which didn’t match the  order but did bear a vague resemblance to what had been there before.

On one side of the road, a driver parked their car at the top end of the  cones.

The lining folk came along  and painted a one-foot double yellow line behind the car, then left a car-length gap, then continued the lines down to the bottom of the road.

They painted more double yellows  further up the road, and then painted white Access Protection Markings parallel with them, so bits  of the road with dropped kerbs had two yellow lines and one white.

They left most of the opposite side of the road unlined. Drivers used the car-length gap as a parking space.

The coners came back and coned the gap and the opposite side. A driver parked among the new cones. (Can you guess what’s coming?)

The lining people came back and painted in the first gap and most of the opposite side, leaving a second car-length gap  opposite the place where the first one had been.

They covered up the white lines they’d painted a week previously with a thin layer of black gunge.

And then they went away, presumably feeling pleased with a job well done, and as of Wednesday morning they hadn’t come back.

Who said the circus had left town?

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