Unthank Road carnage after removal of double yellow lines

This was the mysterious case of the missing double yellow lines.

And it sparked weeks of “chaos” on a busy city street with cars dumped on sidewalks and businesses missing vital deliveries.

When Norfolk County Council resurfaced Unthank Road two weeks ago, the double yellow lines that prevented cars from parking on either side were gone.

The blunder led to pedestrians nervously wandering the road and other vehicles blocking traffic.

Residents said the move created “free parking for all” with traffic struggling to pass – especially near the row of stores off Cambridge Street.


Double yellow lines were repainted on Unthank Road on Friday afternoon but had to stop around a parked van
– Credit: DENISE BRADLEY / Archant2021

But after being under the pressure of the Evening newspaper the lines reappeared yesterday afternoon – well almost. The workers were unable to move some vehicles and therefore had to leave spaces!

Speaking before the rushed paint job, Elizabeths the Florist owner Kevin Plumstead said his company was unable to deliver flowers in time for the funeral because people had blocked his vans, adding that it was “chaos”.


Kevin Plumstead, owner of Elizabeths the Florist, in front of his Unthank Road store

Kevin Plumstead, owner of Elizabeths the Florist, in front of his Unthank Road store
– Credit: Ben Hardy

“Someone is going to be run over before long,” Mr Plumstead said.

“By law, cars should not be parked here because the sidewalk has been abandoned.


Delivery vans at Elizabeths the Florist were stranded due to people parking on the abandoned sidewalk

Delivery vans at Elizabeths the Florist were stranded due to people parking on the abandoned sidewalk
– Credit: Ben Hardy

“Why re-surf the road and not have guys set aside to do the lines a week later? This is mismanagement.”

Mr Plumstead said there was no room for his 20 employees to park.


A woman on her mobility scooter on the narrow sidewalk where vans pass frequently

A woman on her mobility scooter on the narrow sidewalk where vans pass frequently
– Credit: Kofra roasters

And the large vehicles parked all day also made businesses nervous on behalf of pedestrians walking the narrow sidewalk.


The narrow sidewalk of Unthank Road

The narrow sidewalk of Unthank Road
– Credit: Ben Hardy

Jim Smith, operations manager of the Adnams store in Unthank Road, described the situation as “dangerous” and the worst he has ever seen.

Mr Smith added: “It’s like a blind spot because you can’t see past parked vehicles when trying to get around them.


Jim Smith, Director of Operations at the Adnams Store at Unthank Road

Jim Smith, Director of Operations at the Adnams Store at Unthank Road
– Credit: Ben Hardy

“If you know the area, you would know not to park here. It’s just not safe.”

The red-faced departmental council did not comment.

“People were almost fighting”

Adrian Humphries, who runs bespoke kitchen business The Annex, said parking has become more of an issue.

“It’s a double-edged sword because it’s good that there are a lot of people here, but I want people to park properly,” Humphries said Friday morning before the lines reappeared.


The Annex Kitchen Company at Unthank Road

The Annex Kitchen Company at Unthank Road
– Credit: Ben Hardy

“I can’t believe they haven’t put the yellow lines back on. If you come here on a Sunday, people are parked here all day. The buses can’t pass.”

Mr Humphries said he spent £ 3,500 to lower his sidewalk but his forecourt was blocked off.

He added that some drivers were so frustrated that many quarrels had broken out.


Buses and trucks struggled to pass due to several cars parked near the Unthank Road store row

Buses and trucks struggled to pass due to several cars parked near the Unthank Road store row
– Credit: Ben Hardy


Double repainted yellow lines on Unthank Road, but stop around a parked van, causing traffic chaos

Double repainted yellow lines on Unthank Road, but stopped around a parked van
– Credit: DENISE BRADLEY / Archant2021


Elizabeths delivery van parked on the sidewalk to prevent others from blocking the forecourt

An Elizabeths delivery van parked on the sidewalk to prevent others from blocking the forecourt now that the double yellow lines have been removed
– Credit: Ben Hardy


Double repainted yellow lines on Unthank Road near stores after resurfacing.  Image: DEN

Freshly painted double yellow lines on Unthank Road near stores after resurfacing
– Credit: DENISE BRADLEY / Archant2021


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