Ashfield worshippers in hot water for painting double yellow lines outside church

Illegally painted yellow lines on Church Avenue
Illegally painted yellow lines on Church Avenue

Worshippers in Sutton sought divine intervention after drivers kept blocking the entrance to their church – and saw unauthorised double yellow lines painted outside.

Members of St Mary Magdalene’s Church were fed up with people parking in and around the church blocking access to the church and a cul-de-sac of houses next to it.

They paid for a contractor to paint yellow lines in their car park – but said he got carried away and also painted double yellow lines along the narrow Church Avenue leading to the church as well.

The matter was referred to police following complaints to Nottinghamshire County Council.

Dave Walker, district manager for Via East Midlands, which manages the county’s highways on behalf of the council, said “We are aware of unauthorised illegal double yellow lines being painted on Church Avenue, in Sutton, and the matter was initially passed to the police for investigation.

“Residents have expressed their concerns with parking on this road and we have already included the junctions and potential school keep clear markings for consideration in our 2018/19 programme.”

Councillor Jim Aspinall, Ashfield District Council member for St Mary’s, admitted the church had not raised the issue with the council before painting the street, but said “all parties were happy” with the solution.

He said: “It’s been a problem during funerals or school runs when people couldn’t find anywhere to park, so they would park down the street.

“People couldn’t get out of their drives and emergency services couldn’t get in.

“It’s a problem that needed to find a solution where all parties were happy and I think we’ve got that now.”

He said talks over the double yellow lines had been ongoing between the church and council for several months.

However, after discussions between himself, the county council and residents the issue has been resolved and new markings will be painted next year to prevent motorists from parking on the lane.

The new plans include patched marking which will be painted along Church Avenue in October 2018 to stop people parking on the street.

A spokesman for St Mary Magdalene’s Church said the unlawful yellow lines which were painted on Church Aveneue were not a deliberate act, but “nothing more” than a mistake.

He said the error was due to a miscommunication with the private company hired by the church.

The spokesman said the church had paid a workman to repaint the church’s car park – not the lines on the lane.

He said: “We engaged a workman to repaint the lines in our own car park, nothing more.

“However, he also painted lines in the road.”

The spokesman said the church said it had been in contact with the county council regarding the blunder and hoped to come to a resolution.

He said: “Once we realised what he had done we contacted the council to let them know what had happened.

“We are now working with the county council to resolve the situation.”