Slag Lane: Ten-year battle over ‘rude’ street sign as council brings it back despite residents’ objections

A ‘rude' sign is to be restored despite backlash from people who live there.

The name ‘Slag Lane' has long caused debate in Westbury, Wiltshire, with some residents finding it offensive and in need of change, while others argue it is simply part of local history.

In the latest development in the decade-long saga, Wiltshire Council has ordered new signs to replace those that mysteriously disappeared five years ago.

In 2014, the city council decided to reject an attempt to rename the street “Lakeside View”. The original name comes from the slag heaps at the nearby Westbury Ironworks.

In the years since, Google Streetview has shown the sign flipped on its side in 2016 and then disappeared entirely two years later.

Some Westbury residents suspected a local who objected to the “offensive” name could be to blame, but the council said the sign was removed after it was hit by a bus.

The name has inspired many discussions over the years

(Google Maps)

Locals took to Facebook to share their support as they advocated the return of the original name signs.

Glenn Nelon said: “It's part of the social history of the area. History should never be hidden or altered to appease modern sensibilities.”

Giles Myhill shared his frustration and said: “I know exactly where it is and I had noticed the sign was gone. No doubt it's the people who chose to live there who are complaining about the name.”

Jax Armes added: “The name refers to the industrial history of the area. Only modern stinking minds have turned it into something else.'

At the time of the name debate, councilor Russell Hawker said: “The committee decided that the name Slag Lane is historic and appropriate in this context, and that new residents moving into homes on Slag Lane were very familiar with the name of the road before they move.”

The lane is adjacent to an old factory, the Westbury Ironworks, which operated between 1859 and 1933. Today, open pits filled with water are all that remains of the old industry.

Cllr Caroline Thomas, cabinet member for transport and street scene, said: “Following a request made through the Local Highways and Footway Improvement team last April, with the support of Westbury Borough Council, new signage has been ordered replacement for Slag Lane in Westbury.

“Whilst we are not sure what had happened to the original signage, the replacement signage has now been delivered and is scheduled for installation in due course as part of our local motorway maintenance programme.”