IT WAS a mistake that attracted the attention of the national media, local artists and visitors to the town.

Double yellow lines painted on either side of an alleyway near the town centre had become somethin of a tourist attraction that some locals regarded with affection.

The alleyway measures just 1.4 metres across and is barely wide enough for two people to stand side by side, let alone fit a car down, but workmen felt the parking restrictions were needed nevertheless earlier this month.

However, contracters employed by Swindon Council have now untidily painted over the lines in the alley at the top of Newhall Street in preparation for removing them entirely.

Workers arrived on Friday to rectify their initial mistake and have covered the yellow markings with black paint, much to the dismay of local residents.

“My first thought when I saw it was ‘yuk’,” said Liz Adams, 55, whose garden backs onto the alleyway.

“It just looks very ugly now. There are just black lines and it’s not attractive at all.”

While some criticised the strange road markings when they first appeared, Liz saw the funny side of the error.

“When I originally saw double yellow lines had been painted I thought it was very amusing.

“It was also becoming an attraction that people came to see as it got so much coverage.

“I saw people come up the road with maps just to have a look at them.

“The council have ruined it now though. They should have just left it alone because it’s certainly not an improvement.”

The double yellow lines were painted earlier this month as part of a plan to prevent people blocking up narrow side roads in the area.

Liz said: “Overall I’m in support of the yellow lines being painted because it’s needed.

“However they have just gone and made a total mess here. The whole thing has been a total waste of time.”

However, a spokesman for Swindon Council said the black paint is only temporary.

“The council will not be paying for the painting of the lines or for their removal, as the contractor has agreed to meet the cost,” he said, “The lines will be burnt off, but in the meantime they have been painted over as a temporary measure.

“It was decided they should be removed because we want drivers to know that when they see double yellow lines, they are there for good reason, and are capable of being enforced.

“These particular lines didn’t get close to meeting either criteria.”