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Paper Monitor

11:22 UK time, Friday, 5 April 2013

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

The outraged drivers of Cambridge find a voice in Friday's papers, for Fleet St has thrown its weight behind criticisms of a council - all together now - accused of having "gone mad".

"Crackpot" and "barmy" are two of the terms levelled at the officials who have transgressed.

Their crime? To have painted what are thought to be the UK's shortest double yellow lines, accessorised with a £70 fine for those who park on them.

At a mere 13in (33cm), it is true to say that the markings - which separate two disabled parking bays - look as though they were done by a workman with a bit of paint left at the bottom of the can.

But how best to communicate this preposterous shortness to readers?

Traditional comparisons don't help. They certainly can't be measured in double-decker buses, and working out how many would fit into Wales would be a challenge too far.

But not to worry, words and imagery can be found.

"You can't even fit a remote control car on it," Nik Hazell, 21, tells the Sun.

"Less than the width of a car wheel," offers the Daily Mail.

For the Daily Telegraph, a picture of four toy cars parked bumper to bumper along the lines is sufficient.

"Perhaps a child with a toy car could park there," says former mayor Rob Dryden in the Daily Star.

And it has a quote from Cambridgeshire County Council to set things in context. "This is common practice," a spokesman offers.

The row, presumably, could motor on.

(PS: Paper Monitor wonders if one of those teeny-tiny electric cars could fit...)

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