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12 July, 2004

No stopping 'No Stopping'

This is a slightly odd story, reported by Manchester Online on Friday, which I hadn't had a chance to mention until now.

Motorists and traders were left puzzled by the overnight appearance of bogus double yellow lines on a busy industrial estate.
The illegal lines were painted along Orchard Street in Charlestown, Salford.
Signs showing drivers could stop for up to three hours vanished.
Alarmed at the restrictions, businesses contacted Salford council to complain as the area is a popular rest stop for long-distance lorry drivers.
They were told neither the council nor the Highways Agency had authorised the double yellow lines or removal of signs.

Note for non-Brits: a single yellow line painted along the road next to the kerb indicates that parking is prohibited during working hours. Double yellow lines indicate an area where parking is completely banned at all times.

There has been a long-running argument between a catering van which parks on the street and a firm in nearby offices, but the company obviously denies all knowledge. Assuming that's true, my immediate thought was that this was a semi-random prank; someone had 'borrowed' a sub-contractor's paint rolling equipment and just happened to have chosen this street to try it out. However, it has emerged that double yellow lines painted on the opposite side of the street, a restriction drivers have been observing for months, are bogus too.
The council has sent workmen to burn the false lines off the road, and are investigating, with a view to possibly prosecuting someone for 'for defacing a public highway'.

There's a story behind this somewhere....

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