A FRUSTRATED resident who repainted a white line to stop motorists blocking his driveway has been told to clean it up – or else.

John Howard took matters into his own hands after Essex County Council refused to repaint the line outside his home, which stops motorists obstructing his and neighbours’ driveways.

A single solid white line was painted on the road more than ten years ago after residents complained they were being blocked in by customers visiting car showrooms in Ipswich Road, Colchester.

When it faded, Mr Howard called the council to ask them to repaint it, but was told they no longer maintained white lines.

So armed with a pot of paint, he marked out the line again himself, adding an extra broken line for “emphasis”.

He has now been told he must remove it or pay the cost of the clean-up.

Mr Howard said: “It is the only way we have been able to keep our driveways clear and keep access to our properties.

“I don’t see what the problem is. We have reinstated a line which was there before.

“The second white line was to amplify it and make it more visible.”

St John’s ward councillors Paul Smith and Ray Gamble support Mr Howard and have accused the county council of heavy-handed tactics.

Mr Smith added: “I think it is amazing the county council has the resources to threaten Mr Howard with action, but it doesn’t have the resources to repair potholes and fix the roads.

“All he is trying to do is make things safer outside his house. Surely the county council should encourage people to do that, not penalise them. This is what the Big Society is all about.”

Councillors said they had also sought support from Colchester MP Bob Russell, who had agreed to raise the case in Parliament.

An Essex County Council spokesman said: “Essex residents should not paint lines in the road.

“In order to ensure that parking restrictions can be enforceable, these need to be carried out by Essex County Council.

“Officers currently have to prioritise their workload to ensure urgent road defects are repaired first.”