The decision to put up 'Welcome to Northern Ireland' road signs is a positive development and should be welcomed.
Every country across Europe has road signs that make the visitor or commuter aware of where they are travelling into and is normal practice across the continent. I cannot understand the controversy over informing people they are entering Northern Ireland.
I feel this should be welcomed as the signs act as a point of fact to inform visitors they are now entering an area where a different currency is used and, more importantly, where the road speed is calculated in miles per hour as opposed to kilometres per hour.
To not have these signs would not only confuse people but could lead to more drivers not realising they had crossed the border and therefore causing a risk on our roads through speeding.
These signs are not just for the benefit of people living in the Republic but are there to inform tourists they are entering into a different country and as such should make them aware of where they are and the tourism potential that Northern Ireland has to offer.
If the Republic had a sign saying 'Welcome to the Republic of Ireland' I doubt there would be any arguments or political point scoring or, indeed, that any attempt would be made to take them down.
I would like to congratulate the minister and the Department for finally bringing Northern Ireland into line with many other countries and regions of Europe.
JIM NICHOLSON MEP