The story that Swindon Borough Council were responsible for yellow lines being painted down a 1.2m wide alley in Old Town certainly caught the attention far and wide this week.

But I’ve been doing some thinking about this, and I’m not too sure what else the council should have done.

This was a case of the council being damned if they did and damned if they didn’t, and it seems to me the real problem was that there were two sets of lines.

Theoretically it could have been possible to park a motorbike there, so if there were no lines at all and a motorcyclist chose to park and block the alley completely, wouldn’t the council have been castigated for allowing it?

But it’s difficult to see how even a bike could be parked such that it wouldn’t have been in close proximity to both walls, so surely it would have been deemed to be illegally parked if yellow lines had been painted down just one side or the other.

There was no need for two sets, which exacerbated the visual impact and opened the council up to ridicule.

And as for the contractor, if his brief was to paint lines down both sides of all the alleyways in the area, he would be in breach of his remit and could be expected to be called back to finish the job if he hadn’t done what he was told.

Even if he thought it was stupid, he’d still been told (and was being paid) to do it.

But I was impressed with how quickly Specsavers saw the opportunity for a topical ad on Tuesday. Someone there must be patting themselves on the back.