Contractors carrying out roadworks in Telford have agreed to replace dual language Welsh/English roadsigns free of charge after UKIP Telford & Wrekin contacted the council to highlight the detrimental impact on road safety caused by dual language signs, especially where the first language on the sign isn’t English.
It’s not unusual to see dual language temporary road signs in Telford with the Welsh border being so close (relatively speaking) but the practice has to stop and Telford & Wrekin Council need to issue contractors with guidelines on the use of temporary signs in the borough.
Almost all road signs contain a picture because pictures are universally understood whereas the written word isn’t. Additional instructions or information are written underneath. In Wales, it is written in English and Welsh and which language comes first depends on the local authority. This obviously makes the signage less safe because the extra few seconds it takes to figure out which text you’re meant to be reading is an extra few seconds you’re not concentrating on the road. In Wales they have two languages in everyday use so dual language signs make sense (although not the inconsistency) but in England we only have one so they don’t.
It only takes a few seconds of inattention to run someone over or hit the back of a car and there is enough street furniture clutter already without the added complication of Welsh language road signs in Telford!