Page last updated at 04:45 GMT, Sunday, 21 September 2008 05:45 UK

US 'musical road' hits bum note


William Tell no-oh-my-god

It might sound like an idea from a 1960s hippy gathering, but there really is such a thing as a musical highway.

A section of Avenue K in a Californian desert town uses grooves cut into the road surface to play the Lone Ranger theme to cars driving along it.

But some Lancaster residents are not amused. They say the noise from the road sounds more like a discordant screech than the Rossini overture.

Officials have bowed to their views and have agreed to pave over the grooves.

'High-pitch drone'

The response to the new grooves in Avenue K was immediate.

While several Lancaster residents were entertained enough to post footage on video-sharing websites such as YouTube, others were less pleased.

"I think it's terrible because it keeps me awake at night," Lancaster resident Donna Martin told the Daily Breeze newspaper.

"You can kind of tell it's music, but it's not any tune or notes. It's a scratchy sound, a high-pitch drone."

The musical road was the idea of car-maker Honda. The firm said the grooves in the road were engineered to play the overture at perfect pitch for motorists driving Honda Civics at 55mph (88km/h).

Similar ideas have been tried out in Japan, South Korea and the Netherlands.

But the music was intended only for those inside the cars, so it seems the sound has carried too far.

Although the grooves were carved into the road only a couple of weeks ago, officials have announced they will resurface the quarter-mile (400m) strip on Tuesday.

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