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Keep clear – Homeowner risks a fine if he parks outside his own home after council paints signs

Keep clear of the school – which closed 18 years ago! Homeowner risks a fine if he parks outside his own home after council workers paint signs in front of primary which closed in 2003

  • Greg Smith, 56, lives in a converted ex-school in Grewelthorpe, North Yorkshire
  • He came home to find ‘keep clear’ and zig zag lines painted outside his house
  • Contractor allegedly said to ‘come out with a tin of black paint and paint it over’ 


A Yorkshire homeowner was left dumbfounded after spotting a ‘Keep Clear’ sign painted on the road outside his home.

Greg Smith, 56, lives in a converted village school – which closed its doors 18 years ago – in Grewelthorpe, North Yorkshire.

The large yellow sign was accompanied by zig-zag lines, which Mr Smith feared would put him in the ‘ridiculous’ position of risking a fine if he parked outside his house.

Greg Smith, 56, lives in a converted village school – which closed its doors 18 years ago – in Grewelthorpe, North Yorkshire

News of the painted lines around the old school, which closed in 2003 while a new school is situated just up the road (above), quickly became a 'standing joke' in the village

News of the painted lines around the old school, which closed in 2003 while a new school is situated just up the road (above), quickly became a ‘standing joke’ in the village

Mr Smith’s complaints fell on deaf ears at first, as contract workers suggested he should black out the zig-zag markings after they had left, the BBC reports.

He said: ‘It was a bit stupid as [the contractor] realised it wasn’t a school anymore.’

The contractor was alleged to have said: “If I was you, I’d come out with a tin of black paint once I’ve gone and paint it over.” 

News of the painted lines around the old school, which closed in 2003, quickly became a ‘standing joke’ in the village.

Meanwhile, Mr Smith said he had tried and failed several times to get hold of his local authority’s highways team.  

The large sign was accompanied by zig-zag lines, which Mr Smith feared would put him in the 'ridiculous' position of risking a fine if he parked outside his house

The large sign was accompanied by zig-zag lines, which Mr Smith feared would put him in the ‘ridiculous’ position of risking a fine if he parked outside his house

North Yorkshire County Council has since apologised for the error.  

Melisa Burnham, from North Yorkshire County Council’s highways team, said: ‘This is a genuine mistake and the lines and markings will be removed as soon as possible.

‘There will be no prosecutions for people parking on the markings in the meantime.’

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