RESIDENTS were shocked to find new pavement parking bays blocking their driveways.

Council workers were re-marking the parking bays in The Risings and Salters Road, Walthamstow.

But instead of merely repainting the existing bays, they put two dotted parallel lines all the way along both streets.

In a letter to residents received after the lines had been painted, the council said the move was allowed under new legislation, enabling authorities to bring in two different styles of pavement parking.

It went on to say that the council had originally decided to implement option 1, called "continuous parking."

The letter explained: "Anyone can legally park across your driveway, blocking you from getting in or out of your drive.

"Neither we (council/NCP) or the police would be able to act in either of the scenarios above, even if the vehicle was parked for an extended period of time, unless it was not road legal."

Following residents' complaints, the council had performed a U-turn, the letter went on to say.

Some of the lines have now been covered temporarily with black paint.

They will then be burnt off and "intermittent" parking bays created on February 1. These would not allow parking in front of driveways.

But residents are fuming following the mix-up.

Dennis Stinton, 56, of Salters Road, said: "It is a waste of time and of our council tax.

"They have sent people out to paint the bays, then to paint them black, then to burn them off and then they will be repainting them again.

"They are doing four jobs when if they had done it properly in the first place it would have been one."

Margaret Thake, 69, of The Risings, said: "It is absolutely ridiculous to mark bays across our drives anyway. Why do we need more parking around here? There are always plenty of spaces."

The mix-up happened streets away from Bisterne Avenue, where motorist Karen Lamont was fined last week after council staff drew yellow lines around her parked car and fined her £250.

The council's environment cabinet member Cllr Bob Belam said: "I would like to apologise to residents for this mistake.

"We have already removed these parking bays from in front of their drives.

"We are endeavouring to make sure all of our officers are aware of our procedures to make sure this sort of error does not happen again."