Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Belfast Live
Belfast Live
Brendan Hughes

'Derry' to be added to 'Londonderry' road signs under Stormont plans

The word "Derry" could soon be added alongside "Londonderry" to road signs across Northern Ireland under Stormont plans.

A "dual-naming" policy for road signage is being worked on by the Department for Infrastructure.

The move was confirmed to SDLP MLA Mark H Durkan after he asked the Infrastructure Minister if he would consider including "Derry" alongside "Londonderry" on signage for the new A6 road.

Read more: Bilingual signs vandalised 300 times in five years costing councils almost £40,000

In response John O'Dowd said: "I can advise that my officials have been asked to review the current approach with a view to moving to one that accommodates dual naming on traffic signs across the network."

The department refused to elaborate further on what a "dual-naming" approach would entail.

It emerges just weeks after the Sinn Féin minister announced plans to pilot bilingual road traffic signs in an Irish-speaking area of West Belfast.

Mr Durkan welcomed the dual-naming plan as an "inclusive" way of "accommodating both traditions".

The Foyle MLA said: "I see no reason why anyone would object to inclusive signage which recognises the name that the majority of people in Derry use to refer to our city while accommodating both traditions.

“Alongside being more inclusive, I believe this move would help put an end to the constant defacing of the existing signs which has been going on for decades.

"It would also end confusion for the many tourists visiting the city who are left wondering if they are heading to the right place."

But DUP MP Gregory Campbell called on the Infrastructure Minister to focus on completing the A6 rather than "pet projects".

He accused Sinn Féin and the SDLP of "putting politics above the need to improve conditions faced by motorists".

Mr Campbell said: "This is a clear demonstration that the Infrastructure Minister appears more interested in road signs than the roads themselves. The A6 should have been opened months ago yet it still isn't finished."

Rejecting Mr Durkan's argument about vandalism, the MP added: "The responsible approach for any minister and department is not to encourage vandals by being seen to reward their criminal damage.

"John O’Dowd should focus on his job of getting this road opened."

The plan is the latest political disagreement over signage along streets in Northern Ireland.

Last month, DUP MLA Brian Kingston hit out at Sinn Féin-banded Irish-language signs advising drivers to slow down, saying they were "intimidatory" to unionists.


For all the latest news, visit the Belfast Live homepage here. To sign up to our FREE newsletters, see here.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.