The road markings that left red faces

Paula Brown left and repainted bike road marking Image copyright Paula Brown/BBC
Image caption The wonky bike, which was spotted by a chuckling Paula Brown, has since been repainted by the contractors responsible

A wonky cycle path sign that appeared in the Lincolnshire market town of Sleaford last weekend caused much mirth among local residents, who described it as looking like a penny farthing - albeit one with angular wheels.

But this was far from the first time bungling contractors have been left with red faces. BBC News rounds up some of the gaffes that have hit the headlines.

A 'claer' sign of incompetence

Image caption The sign outside Highfield Community Primary School was corrected within 24 hours

When a misspelt road marking appeared outside a school in Chester, the finger of blame was as usual pointed at hapless contractors.

The lettering outside Highfield Community Primary School, in Blacon, was "claer" evidence that spelling was not the forte of the person who painted it.

The marking was hastily corrected, at no cost to the council, after it appeared in February 2014.

It's a cover-up

Image caption The unnecessary "I" was eventually covered up with black paint

At least the simplest of fixes was possible when blundering workmen misspelled the word "minutes" as "minuites" at an NCP car park at Cambridge's railway station.

Although it was two years before anything was done about the gaffe, eventually an NCP boss harnessed an inner Mick Jagger and gave the order: "I want it painted black."

Thus the offending "I" was covered up to restore basic literacy to this corner of Cambridge.

NCP said those responsible for the cock-up were "committed to playing Scrabble in their lunchtimes as spelling revision".

'Pointless' yellow lines

Image copyright Wales news service
Image caption These markings were branded "ridiculous"

A set of double yellow lines that appeared in Cardiff last summer couldn't be faulted in terms of execution - but the location chosen for the markings led to the city council being widely mocked.

That's because the road on which the lines were painted is barely 5ft (1.5m) wide and too narrow for anything but a toy car.

Despite the markings being branded "ridiculous" and a "waste of money", the beleaguered council stuck to its guns, arguing the double yellows were necessary to "deter anti-social parking on the narrow access lane".

'Fuelish' mistake

Image copyright Deborah Kelly/PA
Image caption The seabird is straight ahead, motorist

Motorists using a supermarket petrol station in Doncaster were amused to find themselves being directed towards a species of low-flying seabird.

The word "petrel" was painted in 3ft letters, next to the flawlessly spelt word "exit" and some perfectly drawn arrows, on the approach to the pumps at the Sainsbury's Edenthorpe store in September 2016.

In a light-hearted response, Sainsbury's said it was "correcting the misteke".

Crossing a line

Image caption This "ridiculous" piece of road painting led the council to urge contractors to use "common sense"

Not wanting to let anything as inconvenient as a parked car get in their way, slapdash council contractors tasked with painting double yellow lines in a suburb of Leeds simply daubed the markings around the vehicle.

However, once the car's owner returned and drove away, the lines were left sticking out from the kerb.

Leeds City Council branded the markings in Hyde Terrace, Clarendon, as "ridiculous" and said it would remind contractors "to use common sense" in future. The lines were later repainted.

Lost in translation

Image copyright Golwg
Image caption All official road signs in Wales are bilingual

Welsh-speaking drivers in Swansea were bemused to encounter a road sign that informed them: "I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated."

Above the baffling statement on the dual-language sign was the correct wording in English: "No entry for heavy goods vehicles. Residential site only".

The howler came about because a non-Welsh speaking council employee emailed the authority's in-house translation service, and took the response received as the translation being sought for the new road sign.


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