The Co Antrim council has moved fast to remove the white markings painted in error onto the iconic Game of Thrones Dark Hedges road .
The lines were painted on to the famous stretch of Bregagh Road by accident by a contractor who had been carrying out maintenance work on the surrounding areas. It was a move that caused great outrage amongst locals, tourists, and fans of the show.
Heather Morrison of the Dark Hedges Preservation Trust told the BBC: “I first saw the picture on Facebook – so I drove over to see it for myself on Sunday. When I saw the white lines I nearly died.”
After facing an angry backlash the Department for Regional Development recognised the mistake and ordered contractors to remove the markings.
Ulster Television journalist Natasha Millar tweeted this picture of the contractors burning off the white lines yesterday.
Contractors working to remove white lines accidentally added to the iconic Dark Hedges view pic.twitter.com/1xb9BXdReh
— Natasha Millar (@natasha_utv) February 10, 2016
A spokesperson for the (DRD) said: “Following completion of a small resurfacing scheme along a 200-metre stretch of the Bregagh Road at the Dark Hedges, the white lining at the junction with the Ballinlea Road was extended in error.
“The white lining will be burned off by the contractor. Whilst there is the potential for some residual marking to the carriageway as a result of the removal, we are confident that, given the time of year and the number of vehicles using the Bregagh Road that any such marks will disappear soon.
“DRD will continue to monitor the condition of the surface over the coming weeks, and will take further action to repair the road if necessary.”
It is the second incident of damage to the Game of Thrones Kingsroad in less than a month, as several trees were damaged by the severe winds from Storm Gertrude at the end of January.
The road has become a major tourist attraction since its first appearance in Game of Thrones, with fans wanting to drive down it to experience the eerie surroundings for themselves.
Take a look at the video below to see what it is like driving through the Dark Hedges.
Amateur photographer Bob McCallion has been photographing the Dark Hedges for 20 years. He knows them better than most and warned that better long-term panning needs to take place in order to protect the iconic site.
He said: “If you go there for the first time, you think they’re still brilliant and they are. But if you have been following them over time, you will see the deterioration in those trees.
“It’s not Game of Thrones’ fault, it’s the lack of strategy or facilities to cope with those visitors. There’s a whole scenario that doesn’t seem to improve year on year.”