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Dyslexic warns of dual signage danger

By West Briton  |  Posted: July 31, 2014

Comments (2)

A DYSLEXIC councillor said plans to introduce dual-language road signs in Cornwall could be dangerous for people who have difficulty reading.

Conservative Councillor Tom French asked Councillor Bert Biscoe, Cornwall Council Cabinet member for transport, whether the issue had been taken into consideration in discussions around dual-language signage.

When Cornish was designated a national minority there were calls for dual-language road signs to be introduced to promote the Cornish language.

Dual language road signs are already used in Wales and it was felt something similar could be introduced in Cornwall.

A previous question to Cornwall Council regarding the cost of the signs suggested they would only be introduced when current road signs needed to be replaced.

Street signs across Cornwall are already being introduced in dual-language when they need to be replaced or repaired.

Mr French said at the council meeting: "Along with many others, I have dyslexia, which means I do assimilate written words more slowly than some.

I therefore ask if reading-difficulty has been looked at when considering making road signs in both Cornish and English." He added: "If as a consequence of trying to read road signs one hesitates or gets confused it could surely lead to accidents?"

Mr Biscoe said: "Any proposal to change the language and format of signing would need to be given careful consideration and the appropriate approval from the Department for Transport.

"The legibility and safety implications of any proposed change would be considered as part of the approval process."

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  • cweatherhill  |  August 20 2014, 4:20PM

    One suspects another agenda here (and here, a reminder is necessary that the Cornish language does have legal protection whether some folk like it or not). A good many dylexic peope have confirmed that they have no problem with Cornwall's bilingual signage, or that in other countries like Wales, Ireland, Brittany or Quebec. Furthermore, in Dover are directional signs in both English and French. Also in Kent is a place called Stockbury whose attractive signboard proclaims its present name and its Middle English spelling: Stochingberge. No one appears to have complained about that, or the Dover signposts, so why - when it involves Cornish - do complaints appear?

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  • londheart  |  August 03 2014, 5:31PM

    The choice to characterise Councillor Tom French first as a 'dyslexic' and only secondly as a 'Conservative' seems a either a political one or one serving the attention-seeking interests of the newspaper. It gives his view more technical credibility, a credibility which is undermined by conflicting opinions from other dyslexics on the matter on Facebook.

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