People confused by ‘double yellow lines’ on public footpath – can you work out the explanation?

Walkers, cyclists, runners and horse riders have been left confused by what appear to be double yellow lines on a public footpath that has no access for cars.

Why are there yellow lines on a public footpath?The 'yellow lines' on the footpath  (Credit: P Barden)

The Worth Way in East Grinstead, Sussex, is part of the old East Grinstead to Three Bridges railway line that was closed by Lord Beeching in the 1960s. It has since been turned into a public right of way where walkers, runners, cyclists and horse riders can enjoy the Sussex countryside.

However, some have been left confused by the appearance of what appears to be double yellow lines at the side of the walkway – despite no vehicular access to the Worth Way at any point along its route.

The yellow lines appear near East Grinstead railway station and Bluebell Steam Railway, next to the two-storey car park filled with commuters’ cars on most days of the week, but no explanation can be found for the lines by way of signage or posts on social media.

The riddle has now been solved, though, after it was discovered the reason for the double yellow lines was in fact to do with the new multi-storey car park that has been built to allow increased parking for commuters heading out from East Grinstead station towards the likes of London Victoria and London Bridge.


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The 'yellow lines' revealed...

Rather than being used to prevent overflow parking from the car park or raise extra cash from tired runners and cyclists stopping for a breather, the ‘double yellow lines’ can be explained by taking a look at the new car park and how it has been built. The slats in the barriers on the new storey, catch the sunlight at certain times of day and throw a shadow over the bridleway below, creating the illusion of double yellow lines in the slightly darkened pathway that lies in the shade of the car park building.

So despite appearances, the local council is not trying to fine cyclists or runners found taking a breather at the side of the path, after all. 

Why are there yellow lines on a public footpath?The sunlight falls through the slats in the barrier above to cause the illusion of yellow lines  (Credit: P Barden)

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