Belfast City Council inundated with requests for dual language street signs

Belfast City Council has been inundated with requests for bilingual street signs since a policy change over the summer.

The regulations for erecting a road sign in a language other than English were changed in July.

Since then the council has received 500 requests for bilingual signs, the vast majority of which concern Irish signs.

Sinn Fein, Alliance, the SDLP, the Greens and People Before Profit all support the new policy, while the three union parties DUP, UUP and PUP oppose it.

The new policy means that at least one resident of a street in Belfast, or one councillor, is enough to trigger a consultation on a second nameplate, with 15% being enough to put up the plate. Non-responses will no longer be counted as “against” votes and there will be an equal opportunity check for each application.

By July, the directive required 33.3% of eligible voters on every street in Belfast to sign a petition to start the process and 66.6% to agree to the new bilingual sign on the street.

A council spokesman said: “The council’s policy on bilingual road signs was revised in July 2022. Since the new policy came into effect, there have been over 500 requests for bilingual street signs.

“Officials process applications on a first come, first served basis. We aim to process inquiries as quickly as possible and all applicants will be kept informed of how their application is being processed.”

People Before Profit Councilman Matt Collins said: “It is encouraging to see so many inquiries coming in under this new policy.” Belfast City Council inundated with requests for dual language street signs

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