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New sign on Weymouth Relief Road celebrates twinning links
GROUPS are delighted a sign is finally up at the gateway to Weymouth celebrating the area’s twinning links.
A welcome sign next to the A354 on the Ridgeway which proclaimed the twinning links was removed when the relief road was built.
After the road opened the council erected a new ‘Welcome to Weymouth and Portland sign’ which promoted the national sailing academy but made no mention of twin towns.
The omission prompted a campaign by the Weymouth & Portland Louviers Society and the Weymouth and Portland Holzwickede Society, which said there needed to be something in place, especially as the borough prepared to welcome international visitors for the Olympics.
It came at a time when concerns were raised about new signs and markers. Locals were concerned directional signs on the relief road mentioning ‘Portland Town Centre’ were confusing.
There has also been disquiet about the location of the welcome ‘pineapples’, which used to be on the Ridgeway and are now outside Mount Pleasant park and ride.
The directional signs have since been altered and the county council is supporting the pineapples’ move to the Ridgeway, although it is not clear who will pay for it.
Initially the council was going to put a new twinning sign underneath the new welcome sign but this was ruled out due to design and safety concerns. Instead it has put it further down the relief road towards the Jurassic roundabout.
Weymouth & Portland Louviers Society chairman Cath Irving said: “We are absolutely thrilled, it looks lovely. It has taken a while but we understand as it may not have been high on the council’s list of priorities.”
Mrs Irving said it was a shame the sign wasn’t in place when a delegation visited from Louviers in May – borough mayor Margaret Leicester apologised to guests at the annual twinning dinner for the omission of the sign.
Secretary of the Weymouth and Portland Holzwickede Society Colin Evans said: “I'm glad it's up before the start of the Olympics. Mr Brown from the council deserves a pat on the back. I'm also glad we have a stand-alone sign which will be clearly seen.”
COUNCIL'S THANKS TO SOCIETIES
TRAFFIC engineering manager at Dorset County Council Andrew Brown said: “We are pleased the sign is now in place on the Weymouth Relief Road.
“The twinning of Weymouth and Portland with Louviers and Holzwickede is something that the community should be extremely proud of and we hope this sign will celebrate the partnership for all to see.
“We’d like to thank both societies for their help and patience.”