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20mph sign keeps getting vandalised with swastika

Signs In Llangynwyd, Lletty Brongy Road May 2024 (Pic: Cllr Malcolm James)

COUNCILLORS in a rural part of Bridgend county borough say they are hoping for an end to vandalism on a set of 20mph signs at the entrance to their village.

The road to Llangynwyd, Bridgend, on Lletty Brongy Road was converted from a 30mph road to a 20mph last year as part of the new default speed limit which was rolled out across Wales.

However, local councillors in the village of Llangynwyd say they have suffered a strange and “insulting” type of vandalism to the signs in the time since the roll-out first began, as they are repeatedly being sprayed with swastikas.

Cllr Malcolm James is the local county borough councillor for the area and says it is now the third time they have had to pay to clean the offensive graffiti on the signs since they were first put out in 2023.

He said: “It’s the third time the sign has been vandalised now with the image of a swastika being spray painted and people are understandably not very happy with it.

“I personally think it’s a slur on the village and I don’t think the people who are putting it there truly understand what the symbol means.

It is insulting for residents who live here in what is genuinely a lovely place and we want it to stop.“The council have cleaned the signs twice already, and now they will have to clean it for a third time. We understand some people are frustrated with the decision to alter the speed limits across Wales but there is a democratic way to go about disagreeing with that without this type of vandalism in our village.”

The roll-out of the new speed limit has caused backlash from residents right across Wales since it was first introduced, with complaints over a variety of roads in both built-up and rural areas.

It has led to acts of vandalism to signs up and down the country, and prompted a petition opposing the 20mph default speed limit law which was signed by 469,571 people – making it the biggest ever discussed at the Senedd.

Local authorities across Wales are now set to conduct a review of 20mph roads in September of 2024, following the announcement of a three-stage plan by the Welsh Government to turn some roads in the country back to 30mph.

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Speaking about the current issues in Llangynwyd a spokesperson for Bridgend Council said:  “Vandalising a road sign is a criminal offence which creates a safety issue for drivers and local residents. We take such matters very seriously, especially when they involve racist or offensive imagery, and urge people to report any vandalism or suspicious behaviour that they may witness so that appropriate action can be taken.

“As an offence under the Highways Act 1980, interfering with traffic signs is a criminal act and whoever damaged the signs in Llangynwydd could be found liable for any accidents that might follow as a result. The people who are committing such acts are also only hitting themselves in the pocket as the cost of replacing vandalised signage ultimately falls to council taxpayers.”