A series of haphazard yellow lines, painted in error by council contractors, have made an “absolute mess” of a quiet Watford street, it has been claimed.

Bemused homeowners returned home from work on Thursday evening to find a single yellow line painted between parked cars in Parkgate Road.

The line, which prohibits drivers from parking, had been painted earlier that day, without warning, by Watford Borough Council contractors. A team of road engineers painted between parked cars, leaving behind a series of staggered lines and even flecks of bright yellow paint on car tyres.

Residents have since been told that the lines were printed in error and have been advised to ignore them. Workmen, the council confirmed, were using out-of-date plans to repaint road markings after earlier resurfacing work. The lines are now being painted over – but only as parked cars will allow.

Resident David Law said: “Nobody knew about this so it was a bit it was a bit of a shock when we saw them. I got onto my councillor and we were then told it was an order from 1998 that was never carried out and that it was a mistake. The next day they came back and started blacking them out, but only where cars weren’t parked. It looks an absolute mess now. They’ve just painted over leaves and all sorts.”

Green Party Councillor Ann Lovejoy added: “It certainly isn’t the best line painting I’ve ever seen. It is a mess. It was obviously done really quickly and no notice was given to people living in the road asking them to move cars out of the way. I would have expected more professional care and awareness from a council contractor.

“I am very glad it has now been sorted out as parking space in this bit of north Watford are already at a premium so we can’t afford to lose any.”

Watford Borough Council was due to complete the removal of the line yesterday.