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Sad reason pensioner painted crossing

A pensioner was fined $230 after he painted his own zebra crossing to make it easier for his disabled wife to cross the road.

Laurie Phillips, 78, of the UK, was fed up after his local council ignored his repeated requests to install a crossing on a busy road near his house, The Sun reports.

So he and two friends got up at 5am and spent hours painting six white rectangular blocks at a dropped kerb in Christchurch, Dorset, last summer.

The makeshift crossing was in place for four days in August before council workers washed it away and reported Mr Phillips to the police.


It was respected by traffic and Laurie said it made crossing the road "dramatically safer" for him and his wife Estelle, 76, who uses a mobility scooter.

Retired psychotherapist Laurie was later quizzed by police over allegations he had caused criminal damage.

Laurie was handed a community resolution order and fined £130 ($A230).

"The crossing was there for four days and it was respected by cars which stopped to let people cross," he said.

"It worked and made the road dramatically safer.

"I was told 'well done' by my neighbours, but after four days the council came and washed it away.

"Then I was informed I had been reported by someone from the council to the police for criminal damage and summoned to a police interview.

"All I care about is getting a permanent crossing installed there to improve safety."

Every day during the summer, around 5000 cars use the road to reach nearby beauty spot Mudeford Quay.

Laurie has now launched a petition to install a permanent zebra crossing.

He branded the investigation an "unnecessary waste of police time".

"After lockdown was lifted last summer, we were swamped with visitors and 5000 cars were passing through each day," he said.


"I communicated with local Mudeford councillors and the head of the council at the time, as well as the officers who are responsible for line painting.

"I gave clear warning that I would paint it if nothing was done.

"At no time did I have any response tell me I wasn't to do it or should not do it.

"I personally paid over £100 ($A180) for materials and three of us took two hours each to paint it."

A council official said: "As with other requests for crossings we receive, we will carefully assess the request to establish whether it is appropriate to create a formal or informal crossing at this location.

"Safety remains, as ever, our primary concern."

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission

Originally published as Sad reason pensioner painted crossing

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