Friday, February 16, 2007

Signs of the times

Motorists negotiating a major roadworks scheme near Whitchurch have been baffled after a number of Polish signs sprang up along the busy route to help foreign lorry drivers.

Many people have been surprised after spotting the road signs on the A49 Whitchurch bypass, amid claims that the town is becoming a favourite with foreign workers looking to settle in Shropshire.

However, the claims made in a national newspaper today have been denied by both the town’s mayor and Cheshire County Council, which says the signs are in place to help foreign lorry drivers.

They were put in place by Cheshire County Council as a £1.5 million roadworks scheme to upgrade the A49 Whitchurch Road from Ridley to the Cheshire and Shropshire border began on Monday.

A spokeswoman for Cheshire County Council said: “The main reason the signs have been put up is because a lot of Polish lorry drivers pass through there, and it is imperative they understand what is going on.

“The signs are there to prevent any hazard and it is a health and safety measure.”

And Whitchurch town mayor, Councillor Andrew Richardson, today played down claims there was a soaring migrant population in the town.

He said: “I wouldn’t say that Whitchurch was becoming a haven for foreign workers but there are some around. Whitchurch is a very welcoming town for all people to settle in.”

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