JIM Nicholson is quite correct (Letters, August 13). Countries all over Europe have ‘welcome’ road signs in place so travellers, but in particular visitors, are aware they are leaving one country and entering another. The practice is, of course, not confined solely to Europe. There are for example ‘Welcome to Canada’ signs on its cross border roads with the United States – the most ‘open’ border in the world.
Within the UK itself there are ‘welcome’ signs. Travelling north there are ‘Welcome to Scotland’ signs on the English/Scottish border. Travel south and the signs read ‘Welcome to England’. Similarly when you cross the Welsh border there are ‘Welcome to Wales’ signs. Leave Wales and the signs read ‘Welcome to England’.
Informing travellers, especially tourists, coming from the Republic of Ireland that they are exiting one country and entering into another is informing them of a situation where speed is worked out in miles per hour and not kilometres, where road mileage distances given on signposts are in miles and not kilometres and that wording on warning signs may be different – for example Northern Ireland’s ‘Give Way’ road signs are ‘Yield’ signs in the Republic. Also signage colour and shape may be different – a ‘bend’ sign in the Republic is not only yellow, as opposed to Northern Ireland’s red and white, but the sign itself is a different shape.
Like Jim Nicholson I couldn’t give a ‘hoot’ if the Irish government decided to erect ‘Welcome to the Republic of Ireland’ signs on cross-border roads. Far from having objection I would, in fact, welcome such a development. So what, then, is Phil Flanagan of Sinn Fein’s problem?
Cllr Tom Hamilton