Across the UK drivers, cyclists and walkers alike have come out in force to blast councils on some of the most ludicrous road markings and signs that have been catching people out – sometimes landing them with huge fines.
Rushed-through road markings and ill-thought out signs have left resident’s amused and infuriated in equal measure – as while some see the lighter side, others have raised serious safety concerns.
From mismatched crossroads with six different arrows and wiggly road markings, to curved car parking spaces and semi-circular cycle lanes, MailOnline reveals some of the most disastrous installations created – all at the cost of the taxpayer.
It comes as a street in Edinburgh was seen with double yellow lines that span as little as 30cm leaving resident’s up in arms over the council’s strange decision.
Meanwhile, last week in Wales, a one-way road sign sent English and Welsh speaking drivers in opposite directions down the street depending on which translation they read.
Do you live near one of Britain’s most baffling road signs or markings? Email email@example.com
Wiggly lines to make roads safer: Clevdon, Somerset
Residents have blasted the new layout (pictured) saying it has turned the town into ‘Balamory from hell’
Campaigners at the ‘Save Our Seafront’ protest against Clevedon’s controversial wiggly lines
Perplexed residents in Clevedon, Somerset took to dancing on what was dubbed as Britain’s ‘most bonkers’ road marking to protest a strange new traffic scheme.
In a bid to slow down traffic, North Somerset Council had decided to paint wiggly lines along the promenade.
But rather than act as a deterrent for speeding, locals laughed off the attempted safety measure claiming it looked more like a ‘driving lane for drink drivers’ than a meaningful attempt to slow traffic.
In protest the cheerful locals, fed up with their town becoming a ‘laughing stock’, made a conga line and danced across the lines, holding signs that said ‘our councillors are drunk or stupid’.
The action carried out by the ‘Wavy Wriggle to Save Our Seafront Group’ ended up working – the council swiftly took action to get rid of the waves.
Locals in Clevedon, Somerset are baffled after more ‘bonkers’ road markings appeared on the seafront – this time a white circle ‘like an alien landing pad’
But resident’s were left equally stumped a month later when the council replaced the whacky lines with a white circle ‘like an alien landing pad’ near the seafront, which turned up one morning.
One local said the circle appeared ‘mysteriously – in the dead of night’.
‘Is it a crop circle for tarmac? Is it a warning of alien craft arriving to inspect the carnage on Clevedon seafront? Clevedon residents are completely baffled,’ she added.
Semi-circular cycle lanes: Halifax, West Yorkshire
Residents have been left baffled after the markings appeared on the road earlier this year, with many branding it a ‘waste of money’ and others simply asking ‘what is it for?’
Council bosses in Halifax were slammed for wasting the tax payer’s money after a ‘weird’ semi-circular cycle lane was painted on a busy main road in the town.
Calderdale Council had their workers paint the ‘confusing’ bike lane, which measures roughly 8ft, on Kings Cross Road in Halifax, using part of the £4.9m West Yorkshire plus Transport fund to improve local transport links.
When the markings appeared on the road earlier this year residents had one question: ‘What is it for?’
Barely big enough to fit more than a few bikes, the dotted semi-circular lane was dubbed a ‘waste of money’ with even the leader of the council James Barker believing the markings could present a danger to road users as no knew who it applied to.
‘They have created this little weird semi-circle, and it’s left most local residents completely at a loss as to what it actually even means’, Mr Baker said.
‘It’s at a perpendicular right angle to the road. So it’s not even like you’re on a cycle lane and then suddenly enter it. We are trying to guess what it means.
‘We think maybe it’s a shared space for cyclists and pedestrians – and that it’s telling cyclists they have to give way. That’s our best guess.
‘But most residents are just confused. They’ve never seen something like this before in their lives. And confusion on the road is dangerous. If a cyclist misunderstands that or basically thinks it was something different, it could cause an accident.’
Calderdale Council had their workers paint the ‘confusing’ bike lane, which measures roughly 8ft, on Kings Cross Road in Halifax
Furious residents vented on Facebook about how their taxpayers’ cash had been used by the local authority.
‘Out there somewhere is someone being paid good money to come up with this idea, more worryingly is that someone out there is willing to pay good money,’ one wrote.
And another added: ‘What is the point of that? Could have spent the money fixing all the potholes everywhere! Useless waste of money!’
Adrian Gill, Calderdale Council’s Assistant Director of Strategic Infrastructure, said it had been created as part of a new scheme to ‘make it easier for people to walk and cycle in this traditionally car dominated area’.
Bendy car parking spaces: Bath, Somerset
Residents have been left baffled by new bendy parking spaces and rules which say they cannot even leave their car in them
A scheme introduced to improve parking for resident’s has in turn left many locals completely confused.
Residents of Denmark Road in Oldfield Park, Bath, have called on their local authority to explain their new Residents Parking Zone that has left road users with bendy parking spaces that curve round the corner of the pavement.
Elsewhere on the street ‘White H bars’ have been splashed across the road, telling people not to park there, adding to the uncertainty.
The parking spots also extend to cover the entrances to driveways – leaving people fearing they will block neighbours in their homes.
There is a car park at the end of the road, but a separate permit has been introduced for the area, costing £547 a year, and as a result it mainly stays empty. Residents had previously been able to park there for free.
One local said: ‘I’m worried I’m going to wake up and not be able to get out of my house.’
Residents argue that the spaces are too small for the cars and are too curvy to fit their vehicles in
The spaces on Denmark Road in Oldfield Park, Bath, have ‘H bars’ painted through them, meaning residents are confused whether they can park there
But fixing the errors will take a traffic regulation order from the council costing £4,500 and is likely to take months, with the problem expected to worsen in September when university students return to the city.
Bath and North East Somerset Council say the road markings are part of a wider scheme to install road parking for local residents that have improved other areas of the city.
Councillor Manda Rigby, council cabinet member for transport, says the difficulty road planners are facing is that some of the residential roads are too narrow.
She told Somerset Live: ‘One of the issues which a zone tries to address is pavement parking particularly in narrow streets like Denmark Road.
‘Specifically with Denmark Road we have talked to residents and explained how the markings work.
‘The curved bay is only suitable for smaller vehicles but does provide an additional parking space and we would take a commonsense approach to enforcement.’
Tiny 30cm double yellow lines: Edinburgh, Scotland
One resident said the line looked ‘bizarre’ while another thought the situation was ‘quite funny’
Locals in the Scottish capital have found it hilarious that the council decided to leave tiny double yellow lines – just 30cm long – on their residential road when a council installed a new cycle path.
Construction to create a west-east-cycle path around Melville Street and Manor Place in Edinburgh began back in February 2022 to improve cycling routes throughout the city.
Now the roadworks appear to have been completed, transforming the area to have a one-way segregated cycleway on each side, adding a pavement and benches where the two roads meet.
But residents are confused why there is plenty of space to park for permit holders other than a 12 inch stretch outside St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral on Manor Place where cars cannot park.
Bemused locals have been left baffled after tiny double yellow lines – just 30cm long – were left on Manor Place in Edinburgh
Speaking about the tiny road markings, nearby resident Jamie, said: ‘It’s just bizarre But before this very expensive cycle path was here it was a straight road, this whole area was double yellow lined.
‘I don’t think the council got round to removing the old markings but it’s just ridiculous.’
George Johnson, 79, who lives in the area, said: ‘It’s quite funny, I suppose. But I was a lorry driver for years and had to follow the highway code. But nowadays, I’ve noticed no one follows the roads or cares about the road markings.’
Mr Johnson was sitting on the bench between Manor Place and Melville Street when a pickup truck drove straight across the newly-laid flagstones.
Mr Johnson added: ‘These flagstones are made to take the weight of people and bikes, not 20 tons.’
Sign sends drivers in wrong direction depending on whether they speak Welsh or English: Cardiff, Wales
The sign on Clare Road is causing chaos in the Welsh capital, with the direction of traffic being changed to one way due to road works
This week road users in Cardiff have been left speechless after a road sign in the Welsh capital has sent traffic in opposite directions depending on whether the driver reads the English or Welsh translation.
Traffic is currently traveling one way due to road works on Clare Road but those using the English version of the sign are told ‘Pendyris Street one way ahead eastbound only’.
Whereas the Welsh version of the sign reads ‘Pendyris Street unffordd tua’r gorllewin yn unig’ translating to ‘Pendyris Street one way westbound only’.
Cardiff Council took to social media to thank members of the public for flagging the mistake, writing that ‘the relevant department is aware and this will be corrected as soon as possible’.
According to reports, the sign at the western end of the road will be removed and replaced with a ‘no entry sign’, and sign on the eastern sign will be replaced with one that states the new layout is ‘one way’.
A mishmash of crossroads for bikes, busses and cars: London Bridge, Southwark
This crossroads in central London, on the south of London Bridge, has left many drivers bemused
This confusing crossroad has been labelled one of the worst in Britain after its complicated road markings left motorist – and their SatNavs – baffled.
The junction on the south of London Bridge features a ‘ridiculous’ mishmash of instructions for road users, with roughly six separate arrows, three ‘Bus Gate’ markings, a bicycle icon and a group of overlapping lines.
It seems as if the confusion has stemmed from old markings not being properly removed before the new ones from Labour Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s 2020 Streetspace scheme were painted on.
Mr Khan’s scheme at the start of the pandemic meant cars were largely frozen out and only pedestrians, buses, bikes and black cabs could use the bridge on weekdays.
The ‘ridiculous’ mishmash of road markings (pictured) in the capital has bamboozled many cabbies
One taxi driver said: ‘It’s ridiculous. Nobody needs a dozen painted arrows to drive in a straight line. Even the sat nav doesn’t know what the right road layout is.’
Transport for London said Mr Khan’s Streetspace scheme was intended ‘to make it easier and safer for people to walk, cycle and use public transport’.
It added: ‘We wanted to avoid people using their cars where possible, helping us reduce congestion, clean London’s air and help people be healthier.
‘As part of our funding settlements we have received from Government during the pandemic, funds were set aside to invest in healthy streets schemes.’
Confusing sign raking in fines: Lambeth, London
Only bicycles and local buses are allowed to pass through Lansdowne Drive in Hackney between 7am and 10am, and 3pm and 7pm, Monday to Saturday
Low Traffic Neighbours are popping up all over the country as council’s try to curb pollution caused by vehicles and instead promote active travel, such as walking or cycling.
The controversial schemes have been carried out with varying success but one road sign in the Labour-run east London borough of Hackney alerting people to the LTN’s caused chaos earlier this year.
Only bicycles and local buses are allowed to pass through Lansdowne Drive between 7am and 10am, and 3pm and 7pm, Monday to Saturday. The restrictions are in place during school drop-off and pick-up times.
But the confusing sign – which attempts to show the stringent rules – has caught plenty of drivers out. So much so the stretch of road had generated a stagger £6 million for Hackney Council by last November – after being installed less than two years prior.
Only a small section of the road — about 50 yards, in fact — falls within the LTN, which has an array of what have been described as dizzyingly confusing signs at each end.
It must be the most unpopular 50 yards of road in Britain for drivers, and the most lucrative 50 yards for a local authority.
In the first month of becoming an LTN in February 2020, Lansdowne Drive earned nearly £500,000 in fines; by the fourth month the figure had risen to more than £1 million.
Silly spelling mistake: Brighton, East Sussex
Locals noticed the embarrassing spelling mistake outside Brighton’s Portslade Aldridge Community Academy (PACA) on Chalky Road
Road marking painters went straight to bottom of the class – after spelling the word school wrong.
Contractors spelt out the non-word ‘shcool’ outside Brighton’s Portslade Aldridge Community Academy (PACA) on Chalky Road as kids went back to school last September.
They quickly realised their mistake, but not before amused locals managed to snap some pictures and post cheeky comments online.
Comedian Dom Joly also joined in with the public shaming on his Instagram, saying: ‘It is with great sadness that we have to report the death of a country…’
Robert Tee wrote: ‘Hopefully the person who wrote the sign did not graduate from there as that would be so embarrassing as he needs to attend some evening classes. Think he should get an F grade and some extra homework.’
Social media users took the opportunity to take photos and make some cheeky comments online
Brighton and Hove City Councillor Peter Atkinson, who represents the North Portslade ward, at the time told The Argus: ‘They obviously didn’t have a spell checker with them.’
A spokesperson from the council added: ‘Unfortunately our contractor carrying out our resurfacing work on Chalky Road outside PACA originally misspelt the word ”school”.
‘This has now been put right at no cost to the council.’
More spelling mistakes on FIVE road signs: Weston-super-Mare, Somerset
Queen’s Way is spelt three different ways all within close proximity of each other. Pictured: A sign spelt Queens Way
At least five separate signs pointing to four streets in Weston-super-Mare were spelt wrong last year, with some infuriated locals claiming it was an example of ‘typical council incompetence’.
Among some of the most obvious gaffes is Becket Road, which is also spelt as Beckett Road on a sign just across the street, and Queen’s Way – which is spelt three different ways all within close proximity of each other.
Austen Drive is spelt with both an E and and an I just a few hundred yards apart, while Ryecroft Avenue is spelt with and without an E in a separate area of town.
Locals said at the time the errors caused problems and made giving directions complicated.
Here, Austen Drive is spelt with an E
Here, Austen Drive is spelt with an I. Some residents find the blunders comical while others are not impressed
One resident, who asked not to be named, said: ‘I noticed the Becket/Beckett signs years ago as I turn into it most days.
‘It was hard to miss considering they were literally opposite each other.
‘I found it quite funny and put a photo on my Facebook profile, and a friend told me that Queensway, which Becket Road is off, also showed as Queen’s Way – so I went and had look.’
Another Weston resident said online: ‘Sums the council up in one word – which is unprintable!’
And a third added: ‘Someone had a few too many when this was done!’
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