Sinn Féin Councillor Kevin Campbell has welcomed the news that the Infrastructure Minister, Chris Hazzard has announced plans to consult on the introduction of bilingual signage for destination screens on some bus services in Derry City.
Councillor Kevin Campbell said
“This is great news.
I and party representatives Maeve McLaughlin and Colly Kelly met with the senior management of Transport NI in the Derry office at Foyle Street bus depot back in February 2015 to discuss our request that a bilingual destination signage pilot scheme be established for the Derry area.
In November just past I wrote to the Minister Chris Hazzard and i outlined our request for a pilot scheme.
I believe this is doable and is achievable at very little cost.
Translink bus services operating in West Belfast have been featuring both English and Irish language signs on destinations screens since 2011. And there has been bilingual passenger information on bus shelter timetables and route information.
There are hundreds of children going to schools in the city learning through the medium of Irish and hundreds of people of all ages attending night classes and hundreds taking part in cultural musical and sporting activities. This was magnified tenfold when Derry hosted the Fleadh in 2013.
To have bus services using bilingual signage on a number of routes would i believe a very positive and progressive move for the city.
Minister Hazzard said: “Translink has provided bilingual destination information on buses travelling along Metro corridor 10 in Belfast for some time. This has been well received by those using the services.
“I now want to look at the possibility of introducing similar signage in Irish in Derry city. I believe that the provision of this information would be welcomed by many in the city and would improve access to public services by Irish speakers.
“I have therefore asked Translink to take forward a public consultation on this issue, with a view to signage being in place in May this year. The consultation will formally launch in March following the completion of an Equality Impact Assessment and engagement with key stakeholders. I would urge people to come forward with their views during the upcoming consultation period.”