Controversial Clevedon seafront 'wiggly line' scheme £1.1m over budget

110123 Wiggly Lines Clevedon BPM Media
The original budget for the scheme was just over £200,000. Credit: BPM Media

A controversial traffic calming scheme that saw 'wiggly lines' and 'yellow brick road' markings installed on Clevedon seafront has gone over budget by more than £1m.

The original budget for the seafront scheme was £201,000 according to North Somerset Council, but more than £1.3m has been spent.

The work carried out on Hill Road and The Beach included widened walkways for pedestrians, new cycleways and cycle parking and improved road surfacing.

However, the project has faced backlash from residents and councillors since it was first launched in January. The lines, which are not featured in the Highway Code, caused an uproar that led to the local MP holding a debate in Parliament about them.

An independent review into the scheme is running until 24 September.

Residents dubbed this part of the scheme as Clevedon's own 'yellow brick road' Credit: BPM Media

The council says the extra costs have been incurred 'for a number of reasons' including unforeseen remedial works, changes to the scheme itself and inflationary costs.

According to the authority £565,000 was spent on changes made to the scheme in the final scope.

There were £218,000 worth of unforeseen costs including repair works to structural damage beneath the promenade and hand digging to minimise disruption on Hill Road.

Inflationary costs contributed an extra £235,000 to the final spend and £101,000 had to be taken out of the pot due to amendments made while work was being carried out.

Cllr Hannah Young, executive member for highways and transport, and local ward member in Clevedon said: “The scheme was significantly increased in its scope from the one the council secured funding for from the Department for Transport back in 2020, and costs also rose due to structural damage found under the promenade, splitting the work into two stages, and other unavoidable factors like global inflation.

“Acting on requests from local people and residents, work originally planned for last summer was carried out instead during autumn 2022 and early this year to minimise disruption to holiday trade."

Cllr Mike Bell, Leader of the Council, added: “While there are legitimate reasons for all additional expenditure on the scheme, the final costs remain significantly higher than the original budgeted costs.

“The council has already conducted an internal audit of the scheme to ensure that lessons are learned going forwards. These lessons will ensure more effective consultation, better budget management, and stronger governance of large projects."

He also added that the independent review would provide 'valuable input' on the delivery of the scheme.