Workers painted in between parked cars when putting in new double yellow lines in Hartlepool town centre.
Hartlepool Borough Council is creating a new section of double yellow lines on Raby Road close to the junction with Museum Road.
When contractors attended to put them in they were faced with two cars close to each other at one end of the new stretch.
But instead of coming back another time, the workers carried on, including painting around and in between the vehicles, with one section of lines measuring barely a couple of feet.
Council chiefs say the contractor will return to the road to fill in the gaps, although there is not a date for when the work will be completed.
One of the shocked vehicle owners took a video of the work and posted it on Facebook criticising the council for not waiting until the road was clear.
Pamela Pugh, 50, one of the car owners who took a video of the work and posted it on Facebook, said: “I parked there and then hours later I couldn’t believe it when I came out on my lunch.
“It was disgusting.
“Why did they not wait until people had left to start doing it?”
Someone else defended the council saying: "Actually makes sense, once the cars have gone there are enough markings to show anyone else that they should not park there or will get a ticket if they do."
A Hartlepool Borough Council spokesperson said: “We are creating a new section of double yellow lines on Raby Road.
“Unfortunately, when our contractor carried out the work there were a number of cars parked in the area.
“The contractor will be returning in the near future to complete the work.”