Hereford & Worcester

Blackminster Polish and Spanish road signs 'broke rules'

Polish road diversion sign in the Vale of Evesham
Image caption The sign read: "Road ahead closed B4085 at Blackminster level crossing, please follow diversion"

Foreign language signs advising migrant workers of a road diversion in Worcestershire have been removed for "health and safety" reasons.

Network Rail is carrying out work on a level crossing in Blackminster.

It was asked by Worcestershire County Council to provide diversion signs in Spanish, Polish and English.

However, they were removed by the Highways Agency which said they did "not meet the prescribed standards for such signs".

Evesham Vale is famous for its soft fruit production and attracts many migrant seasonal workers as fruit pickers, the county council said.

It added: "Local councils at district and parish level as well as businesses in the area requested the signs be put up due to a high number of Polish people living in the area and a number of Spanish businesses.

'Prescribed standards'

"From what we've been told there's a number of lorries and HGVs that travel from Spain to the area and they wanted to ensure the diversion was clear to cut disruption and the potential for vehicles getting lost resulting in queues or delays for motorists in the area."

A spokesman for the Highways Agency said only road signs near ports were displayed in foreign languages in England and Wales.

It said these signs were restricted to speed limit information and drive on the left reminders.

The agency said it had removed the Blackminster diversion signs on Monday.

It said: "Unfortunately the [Blackminster diversion] signs did not meet the prescribed standards for such signs, as set out in the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002.

Work is expected to be carried out on the level crossing until 0500 BST on 22 August.

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