Bilingual Traffic Signs Proposals May Hit Red Says Wells

Signs will have to be requested by a promoter through their local District Council. The promoter may be the local Council in the case of town or village welcome signs, a local tourist operator in the case of tourist signs, or the manager of the facility in the case of supplementary plates, which could, for example, be a school principal. There will be no additional cost to the Department. The proposals envisage that any costs will be borne by the promoter for the signs. However, South Down MLA Councillor Jim Wells has responded to the DRD proposals saying, ” “This is going nowhere. The DUP Ministers in the Executive will never sanction this. It is just a political hobby horse by Sinn Féin. In the present economic climate we could not endorse this. It is hard enough to maintain the signage that we have got without incurring extra costs. “This proposal from DRD Minister Conor Murphy is more of a product from the political climate. It creates a cold house for the Unionist community. The Irish language is just being used as a weapon by Republicans. Sinn Féin are just trying to keep their extreme elements happy. “Why do Unionists never oppose Irish cultural activities such as music, and why do they actually go and watch River Dance etc? Basically the Irish language is being used by Sinn Féin for political purposes. Even at our local Down District Council level there are debates about signage in the Irish language. How can we justify spending £85,000 of signage in Irish for a local project (the St Patrick’s Heritage Trail) when times are very economically tough? Sinn Féin may support  this under the cloak of European Union legislation and rules but is just doesn’t make sense today to spend money on this.” he said. Copies of the consultation document are available on the Department for Regional Development website – Hard copies can be obtained by contacting the Department’s Roads Service on 028 9054 0633, e-mail responses may be sent to and comments may also be faxed to 028 9054 0111. Comments may be submitted to: Transportation & Engineering Policy Unit Room 3-29, Clarence Court Adelaide Street Belfast BT2 8GB]]>