'We got it wrong' - Council leader apologises for Clevedon's £1.3m wiggly line scheme

110123 Wiggly Lines Clevedon BPM Media
The scheme was controversial from the outset, with people criticising the "bizarre" wiggly lines. Credit: BPM Media

Parts of a controversial scheme at Clevedon seafront are likely to be reversed - including the return of seafront parking bays.

The leader of North Somerset Council has apologised for mistakes made and vowed to "find the money" to fix it.

It comes as an independent review has recommended the return of angled parking spaces to the seafront and the removal of the two-way cycle lane.

It also says a pedestrian crossing should be created as well as a dedicated drop-off and pick-up point for coaches.

The scheme has so far cost the council £1.3million - coming in an eye-watering £1.1million overbudget - and the work to fix it is estimated to cost a further £375,000.

The changes to The Beach and Hill Road have been controversial since wiggly lines first appeared along the seafront.

North Somerset Council said the scheme aimed to make the road safer, encourage active travel and reduce unwanted parking.

But many in the town were left unhappy, saying it "ruined" the Victorian seafront, was unsafe and was negatively impacting businesses.

Even the RAC described it as one of the "most bizarre new road schemes" it had ever seen.

Changes to the design saw it dubbed Clevedon's "yellow brick road". Credit: BPM Media

What changes are recommended at Clevedon seafront?

Thousands of people gave their views to transport design experts AECOM as part of the review. Now, the firm has now recommended the following:

  • Removing parallel parking and replacing it with angled, sea-facing parking on The Beach

  • Removing the two-way cycle path and replacing it with a contraflow cycle path to the eastern side of The Beach

  • Introducing a coach pick-up and drop-off point and loading bay

  • Creating a pedestrian crossing on The Beach

  • Changing the mini roundabout on The Beach

  • Retaining the one-way system, 20mph zone and changes to Hill Road

'Sorry' - council leader admits 'big mistake'

Council leader Mike Bell has apologised over the scheme, telling ITV News: "The big mistake was that we implemented a scheme that wasn't supported by the community and I'm really sorry that happened.

"We didn't get the consultation and engagement right, it took place during the Covid pandemic and, as a result, we've delivered a scheme that didn't work for people."

He said any decisions about what happens next "will be made in public" but said the "right thing to do" is to make changes.

He said: "We're under immense financial pressure, as are all councils. I would not wish to be in this position if we could have avoided it.

"But the right thing to do is to try to deliver some changes and deliver a scheme that works for the people of Clevedon and that's what we're going to try to do.

"We'll have to try to find the money - it's not going to be easy, but we will try to do that."