Bizarre £1.3m road scheme with 20mph limits, bike lanes and a 'wiggly line' blasted as common sense gone mad

The new road markings

The scheme had an initial budget of just £200,520

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 28/11/2023

- 12:17

Updated: 28/11/2023

- 12:41

The scheme is more than £1million over budget

Drivers and motoring experts have reacted to bizarre new road markings which cost a staggering £1.3million to install in Clevedon.

North Somerset Council rolled out a new 20mph, one-way system, with cycle lanes, parallel parking and a “wiggly line” scheme in a bid to curb vehicle usage.

The new scheme has been met with near-universal criticism, prompting the Council to spend a staggering £375,000 to reverse the road markings.

It was initially given the green light with a budget of £200,520, with it now costing £1.3million, not including the price to fix the markings.

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An independent review recommended returning to angled parking spaces to the seafront and removing the two-way cycle lane.

The initial aim of the scheme was to make roads safer, encourage active travel techniques and remove unwanted parking.

Many locals said the changes “ruined” the seafront and had a negative impact on businesses, according to ITV.

Council leader Mike Bell apologised for the scheme, calling it a “big mistake” and vowed that the “right thing to do” was to make changes.

He added: "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.”

Mike Bell added that any future changes would be made “in public”, allowing residents to have their say before any new schemes are introduced.

The recommendations from the auditors now suggested that a coach pick-up and drop-off point should be installed, in addition to a loading bay.

RAC head of policy Simon Williams said: “It’s good to see that common sense has prevailed over the bizarre Clevedon seafront road scheme.

“Locals will now be celebrating that more people will be able to park and enjoy looking at the sea and the historic pier as well as visiting seafront hospitality businesses.

“But many will also be thinking how so much tax-payers money could have been spent on such a simple scheme, let alone one which turned out to be so deeply unpopular.”

The audit suggested that the one-way system and 20mph speed limit zones could remain.

Mr Williams added: “There are also surely questions to be answered as to how this was ever classed as an ‘active travel’ scheme considering how short the cycle lane is.


Clevedon seafront

Locals said the changes have had a big impact on businesses along the seafront


“For this reason, we struggle to see how this would ever help to get people out of their cars, which was one of the stated aims of the project.”

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