Derry-Londonderry road signs plan

Derry/Londonderry road signs could soon make an appearance across the NI roads network, it’s emerged.

Road signs to Derry are often vandalised.
Road signs to Derry are often vandalised.

The Department for Infrastructure has confirmed that it is working towards a ‘dual naming’ approach to road signage.

It follows a proposal from Foyle SDLP MLA Mark H Durkan who, in recent years, has regularly called on the government department to ensure both names of the city are recognised.

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Mr Durkan recently asked current Infrastructure Minister, John O’Dowd, if he had considered implementing a dual naming approach - using Derry alongside Londonderry - on signage for the new A6 route linking Derry to Belfast.

In response, Mr 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.”

Mr Durkan said: “This may seem a trivial matter but, as we know in this city, its history and the name by which my constituents know their hometown matters immensely to many people.

“A dual naming approach is progressive as, not only does it recognise both names, but it reduces the risk of constant vandalism of signage and saves taxpayers’ money. Hopefully, it will help reduce confusion for tourists as well.

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“This was always a sensitive and sensible proposal aimed solely at inclusivity.”

The Foyle MLA added: “My request was refused twice by department officials over the years. However, I was pleased that, upon taking office, previous Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon made a commitment to review a dual naming approach.

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“I’m proud to have played my part in securing this policy change which embraces the diversity of Derry/Londonderry,” added Mr Durkan.