Chaos on ‘free-for-all' city street after double yellows disappear
- Credit: Ben Hardy
It was the mysterious case of the missing double yellow lines.
And it sparked weeks of "mayhem" on a busy city street with cars dumped on pavements and businesses missing out on vital deliveries.
When Norfolk County Council resurfaced Unthank Road two weeks ago the double yellow lines that stopped cars parking on either side vanished.
The blunder led to pedestrians nervously wandering into the road and other vehicles blocking traffic.
Locals said the move created a "parking free-for-all" with traffic struggling to pass - particularly near the row of shops next to Cambridge Street.
But after coming under pressure from the Evening News the lines reappeared yesterday afternoon - well almost. Workers were unable to shift some vehicles so had to leave gaps!
Speaking before the hasty paint job, Kevin Plumstead, owner of Elizabeths the Florist, said his business was unable to deliver flowers on time for a funeral because people had blocked his vans adding it was "mayhem".
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"Someone is going to get knocked over before long," Mr Plumstead said.
"By law, the cars should not be parked here as the kerb has been dropped.
"Why resurface the road and not have guys booked in to do the lines a week later? It's poor management."
Mr Plumstead said there has been no room for his 20 staff to park.
And large vehicles parking up all day long were also making businesses nervous on behalf of pedestrians walking on the narrow pavement.
Jim Smith, operations manager of the Adnams store in Unthank Road, described the situation as "dangerous" and the worst he has ever known it.
Mr Smith added: "It's like a blind corner as you can't see past the parked vehicles when you're trying to drive around them.
"If you know the area you would know not to park here. It's just not safe."
The red-faced county council has not commented.
'People were almost fighting'
Adrian Humphries, who runs bespoke kitchen firm The Annex, said parking has increasingly become an issue.
"It's a double-edged sword because it's good that it is busy down here, but I want people to park properly," Mr Humphries said on Friday morning before the lines reappeared.
"I can't believe they haven't put the yellow lines back. If you come here on a Sunday, people are parked here all day. Buses can't get through."
Mr Humphries said he spent £3,500 to get his kerb dropped but his forecourt was being blocked off.
He added that some drivers have got so frustrated that numerous spats had erupted.