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I am not making this up!

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I am not making this up!

Old 14th Nov 2002, 13:22
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: London UK
Posts: 483
Exclamation I am not making this up!

This report was in the Stockport Express. For anyone who can't be bothered to wade through it, it claims that due to the "Zebra, Pelican and Puffin Pedestrian Crossing Regulations and General Directive (1997)" (!) zig zag lines have to be removed and repainted in reverse. This sounds like a wind up, or a Yes minister script abandoned as too far fetched, but with Stockport you never now. This is the council that launched a road safety campaign saying that the true test of a good driver was keeping the speedometer needle "balanced" on exactly 30MPH.

BARMY bureaucrats are wasting thousands of pounds turning zig zag road markings into zag zigs. Ridiculously, Stockport Council has been told by the Government to reverse the zig zag markings on 30 crossings across the borough. But the work seems entirely pointless – as the markings look exactly the same after being burnt off and re-drawn. The zig zags, which denote the area around a crossing where parking is banned, are being changed to comply with the cumbersomely named government legislation called the Zebra, Pelican and Puffin Pedestrian Crossing Regulations and General Directive. Resident Ray Preston was amazed to see council workmen burning the markings off the crossing in Marple Road, near his home in The Fairway. And he was even more gobsmacked when they told him why they were doing it. Ray said: “They told me the zig zags were going in the wrong direction and had to be altered because of a change in regulations. "It seems ridiculous that this is being done on pelican and other crossings all over the country, which must be costing millions of pounds. Changing the ones in Stockport itself must be costing thousands of pounds. “The crossing near my home has been there for at least five years and the zig zag lines don’t seem to have caused any problems.” A council spokesman said zig zag lines on around 25 to 30 pelican crossings around the borough were being changed to go in the opposite direction to bring them in line with new legislation that comes into force on December 15. “The changes are being made under the Zebra, Pelican and Puffin Pedestrian Crossing Regulations and General Directive from 1997 which will become law next month,” he added. The spokesman said the zig zag changes were being made for safety reasons. “We are only complying with government regulations in the interests of continuity and uniformity as well as safety,” he added. “Lines wear away over the years and after this has been completed they will be much clearer.”
Dr Jekyll is offline  
Old 14th Nov 2002, 13:36
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: over here
Posts: 471
Speaking of road marking regulations; I read in yesterday's paper that a stretch of road in Wiltshire which had suffered a number of accidents has now had it's central stripes removed by the Highways Agency as they reckon that it will slow traffic down because drivers will be unsure of where they should be driving! Surely there is a duty to keep road markings applied in accordance with the regulations in force at the time....?
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Old 14th Nov 2002, 13:56
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: southern england
Posts: 1,650

Sounds like an attempt to thwart the "super" lawyers, who get people off motoring offences for reasons such as "the yellow line was 5 micro milimetres wider than it should be.....".

Unless the "zig-zags" are exactly as described in the law, then they will have no legality. Sad but true.

Last edited by newswatcher; 14th Nov 2002 at 16:03.
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Old 14th Nov 2002, 15:03
  #4 (permalink)  

Why do it if it's not fun?
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Bournemouth
Posts: 4,769
It really did happen, it's reported in The Sun as well.

But according to The Sun, the change was unnecessary:

Previously, the central line had to run parallel to the zigzag on the driver's left.

Now, under the new regulations, it can run parallel with either the zigzag on the left kerb or the one on the right.

But confused Stockport Council though that under the new law they have to reverse all their middle zigzags.

An embarassed council official last night told The Sun: "We are looking into this more closely."

The Department for Transport said they do not know if any other councils had misread the new rules.

Adn last night baffled staff of the Secretary of State for Transport Alistair Darling vowed to investigate.

A spokesman said "We issued regulations which should have made life easier for the local authorities.

"We have no idea why Stockport Council has done this. But we will be talking to them."
But, according to a side article:

Not everybody thought the new markings were such a dead-end idea.

Former Big Breakfast starts Zig and Zag reckoned the council chiefs had a point.

Zag, one half of the furry alien team, was particularly pleased that the lines zagzigged instead of zigzagged.

He said "I always thought I should have top billing!"

This also prompts me to ask, and not for the first time on this forum, why The Sun don't believe in putting more than once sentence in a paragraph.

FlyingForFun is offline  
Old 14th Nov 2002, 15:59
  #5 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: HON121º/14 NM
Posts: 664

It rather looks as if the Currant Bun makes every effort to avoid using more syllables than absolutely necessary in their single sentence paragraphs!
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