Confusion over rural roads

Rural road signs. (0811MM12)
Rural road signs. (0811MM12)

Plans to erect bilingual signs on roads in Claudy and Park could be delayed because Derry City Council policy does not recognise them as streets.

The issue arose after 28 requests were made to Derry City Council for bilingual signage, in English and Irish, for streets in the area.

In line with Council policy, plebiscites were then held to get the views of local residents and 26 of the requests got the necessary 66 per cent or more approval required to erect the signs.

However, because of an anomaly between Council’s street naming policy and Northern Ireland-wide legislation, 19 of the requests may not get the go ahead as they are connected with areas not recognised as streets by Council.

The legislation defines a street as a road, square, court alley, passage or lane while the Council’s definition adds that a street must have a “more or less continuous and regular row of houses.”

This would mean that many roads in rural areas of Derry would not be regarded as streets by Council because they do not have a continuous row of houses.

Approval has been recommended for seven streets in the area to get bilingual signage; Laurel Hill Cottages, Millside Crescent, Sycamore Heights, Bushfield Mill, Altinure Cottages, Glenrainne Gardens, and Slieveboy Park.

The matter will be discussed a meeting of Council’s environmental services committee this afternoon but a decision on the remaining 19 applications and the anomaly between the legislation and the Council policy will be deferred until later this month.