VANDALS have illegally painted over double yellow lines, leaving red-faced council bosses to pick up the repair bill.

They have smeared black paint over the restrictions in Grasmere Road, Canvey, turning the small cul-de-sac into a parking free-for-all.

As a result, motorists are parking their cars on the corner of the road end to access a nearby shopping parade, making it difficult for residents to safely get out of their turning into Long Road.

Stan Weeden, 68, said the road is fast becoming an accident blackspot, as he has had several near misses already.

He said: “I just came out one morning and obviously someone had taken it into their own hands to paint over the yellow lines with black paint overnight.

“I couldn’t believe it. It’s ridiculous, not to mention completely illegal.

“The problem is when someone parks on the corner where the yellow lines were, you quite simply cannot see up the road at all.

“It’s so dangerous. You’re basically taking your life into your hands when you pull out, because you can’t see if anything’s coming.”

Painting over the lines is an offence and those responsible could face enforcement action if they are tracked down.

Mr Weeden reported the damage to MP Rebecca Harris in October, and she passed on the matter to the South Essex Parking Partnership.

However, nothing has been done to restore them to their original colour.

A spokesman for Chelmsford City Council, which looks after parking enforcement for the south of the county, said: “We had not been made aware of this matter.

“As we now have the details of this issue, it will be investigated further.”