Bay Botch - Haggerston drivers in tight spot

Bungling council workers have been left red-faced after painstakingly painting fresh parking bays along a newly resurfaced road – only to discover they were too small for cars to fit inside when they had finished.

Baffled residents watched in disbelief as Hackney Council employees painted the narrow parking spaces along Haggerston Road last Friday (August 26).

But after a flurry of furious complaints from residents, the council has admitted the bays are “not appropriate” and agreed to start from scratch today (Wednesday).

Haggerston resident Vivien Ashton said it is currently “impossible” for most makes of car to park legally along the stretch of road from All Saints Church to the Duke of Wellington pub.

Ms Ashton, who is chairwoman of Haggerston’s safer neighbourhood team’s Community Advisory Panel, added: “People are given tickets if their wheels are over the white lines, and we have to assume we will be given tickets – there’s no way traffic wardens would have mercy in this situation.”

National standards dictate that the width of parking bays should be between 1.8m and 2m, and a council spokeswoman insisted the spaces were 1.8m – about 70 inches.

But Ms Ashton said she has measured many of the bays are some are as narrow as 66 inches.

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Another resident, Janet Scott, said her four-door saloon could not fit within the lines, while Heather Wilson is furious that she pays the council fees to park outside her home and feared she would be forced to pay parking fines on top of that.

A council spokeswoman said: “Whilst narrower bays can be effective in making roads safer by encouraging parking closer to the kerb it is clear that in this case the bays are not appropriate for the road concerned.

“The council will be repainting the bays at their original width [2m] immediately and can confirm that no tickets have or will be issued for vehicles that fail to park within the lines of these bays.”

The Gazette has learned repainting the bays will cost taxpayers �440.