- Resident of Clevedon, Somerset dubbed them ‘driving lane for drink drivers’
- The council went an eye-watering £1.1m over budget
‘Britain’s most bonkers’ wiggly road markings are set to be scrapped as council leader forced to apologise for going £1.1m over budget.
The confusing road markings appeared on the seafront in Clevedon, Somerset last Autumn and caused chaos as drivers began to swerve around the lanes, dubbed the ‘driving lane for drink drivers’.
Furious local residents staged a ‘conga line’ protest in fancy dress amidst the widespread media ridicule of the project.
Now the controversial changes look set to be reversed – costing another £375,000
The original budget for the Clevedon Seafront scheme was £201,000 but due to unforeseen costs it ballooned to £1.357m.
It will cost officials another £375,000 to undo, reports the BBC.
North Somerset Council claim they were intended to stop drivers from driving too close to the cycle lane, but Transport expert Audit West has concluded that the new layout does not work.
The leader of North Somerset Council Mike Bell has apologised for the clear mistakes made and vowed to ‘find the money’ to fix it: ‘The big mistake was that we implemented a scheme that wasn’t supported by the community and I’m really sorry that happened.
‘We didn’t get the consultation and engagement right, it took place during the Covid pandemic and, as a result, we’ve delivered a scheme that didn’t work for people.’
It comes as an independent review has recommended the return of angled parking spaces to the seafront and the removal of the two-way cycle lane.
It also said a pedestrian crossing should be created as well as a dedicated drop-off and pick-up point for coaches.
Even the RAC chimed in and described it as one of the ‘most bizarre new road schemes’ it had ever seen.
Councillor Bell has said any decisions about what happens next will be made in public but conceded that the right thing to do is to make changes: ‘We’re under immense financial pressure, as are all councils.
‘I would not wish to be in this position if we could have avoided it.
‘But the right thing to do is to try to deliver some changes and deliver a scheme that works for the people of Clevedon and that’s what we’re going to try to do.
‘We’ll have to try to find the money – it’s not going to be easy but we will try to do that.’
Clevedon residents were quick to take to social media to criticize the council.
One resident wrote: ‘Those councillors that rubber stamped this and completely ignored the residents should be named and made accountable, crazy…’
Another said: ‘After the awful mess, please bring it back to the original parking’.
Another person added: ‘If they had had a public consultation before spending huge sums on implementing this, the consultation costs would probably have saved a lot of money.’