BEWILDERED Burton residents are asking for an explanation as to why a main village route has suddenly become filled with “no stopping” signs.

Forty of the 1.5 metre signs have cropped up along the grass verge in Stony Lane, Burton, sparking cries of “overkill” from residents.

But Christchurch council has said it would not be able to enforce a “no parking” rule if it did not follow the regulations on spacing the signs.

Judy Jamieson, chairman of Burton Parish Council, said: “The parish council were consulted on this measure but I do not think at the time there was any indication of how many there would be.

“We did ask at the time that while signage was welcome, who was going to enforce it?

“I know that there have been residents along Stony Lane fed up with people parking along the verge and this is why we had no objection until we found out how many.

“I have had a number of comments from residents who are quite bewildered by the whole thing.”

Julie Ratcliffe, who has lived in the village for 30 years, said: “The village has become a forest of signage and its character is being spoiled.

“This latest set is vandalism – they are so unnecessary.”

She added: “How are the hedges to be cut effectively with the machinery being blocked every 20 yards or so?

“The grass cutting will take even longer as there will need to be an operative trimming around the base of 40 or so signs that are now littering the verge.

“The thing is, I’ve never seen anyone parking on these verges!”

Nigel Davies, head of community services at Christchurch Borough Council, said: “There are no yellow lines on these roads so, in order to comply with Traffic Regulations, the ‘no stopping’ signs have to be placed at intervals of approximately 30 metres (100 feet).

He continued: “If the signs did not comply with these regulations then it would not be possible to enforce the ‘no stopping’ restriction.

“On rural roads these signs are more noticeable than in urban environments, but the law says that's what we have to do.”

The signs will also be put along Salisbury Road.