WELSH language campaigners have slapped stickers on about 80 road signs in Wrexham in protest at the local authority’s failure to translate them.

According to Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg, there are hundreds of give way signs in the county which are only written in English.

Over the weekend, the group chose to place stickers with the Welsh translation ‘Ildiwch’ on some of them in order to draw attention to the issue.

It comes as politicians prepare to discuss a damning report by the Welsh Language Commissioner this week, which highlights repeated problems with Welsh language signage in the area.  

However, Wrexham Council has insisted it is not legally required to replace any give way signs which pre-date March 2016, when the Welsh Language Standards were introduced.

Aled Powell, who chairs the Wrexham branch of Cymdeithas,  said: “Since before Wrexham Council was formed in 1996, there has been a legal duty on each authority in Wales to ensure road signs are in both Welsh and English.

“But when I moved to live in the Wrexham area I noticed one type of sign stood all over the place without any Welsh, like relics of a distant past when some people believed English was the only language of any worth.

“The unique shape of these particular signs means there’s not enough space to place the Welsh word, ‘ildiwch’, beneath the English term, ‘give way’, so Wrexham Council had to make an exception to their Welsh language policy.

“But rather than place the Welsh first, the council decided not to put the Welsh at all.”

Mr Powell said the council claimed it had received direction from a higher authority exempting give way signs from the legislation.

He said he had written to the Welsh Language Commissioner and the Welsh Government, but neither could confirm the explanation.

But Wrexham Council’s deputy leader has now said replacement bilingual signs will only be put in place if the old ones are damaged.

Cllr Hugh Jones said: “We understand that all new or replacement Give Way signs need to be compliant with the Welsh Language Standards.

“However, the council is not required to immediately replace signs installed prior to the introduction of the Welsh Language Standards in March 2016 and any such replacements would take place as and when the current signs needed replacing.

“In those instances where signs need replacing due to issues of wear or damage, we will of course ensure any replacements are bilingual, with the Welsh above the English.”

Last week, Cllr Jones admitted other errors highlighted by the commissioner had been “unacceptable”.

All new signs installed by the council now have be submitted for approval by its Welsh language team.

They included concerns over signs which were only in English on the doors of the former People’s Market and Welsh text being displayed underneath English on a sign below a Christmas tree in Wrexham.

Councillors will discuss the commissioner’s report in full tomorrow (DEL WEDNESDAY 28 NOVEMBER).