A Cumbrian man has accused Burnley Borough Council of betraying those residents of the town who voted for Brexit by installing new “metric” direction signs.
Mr Neil Prendergast of Gosforth in the Lake District contacted the Burnley Express to air his “disgust” about the signs, recently erected at the Brun Valley Forest Park, near to Rowley Lake.
Visitors to the popular beauty spot can now see the signs, giving directions in kilometres, the measurement favoured in mobile phone apps, often used by runners, walkers and cyclists.
The Ordnance Survey, the UK government agency responsible for the official, definitive topographic survey and mapping of Great Britain, produces all of its OS maps in kilometres.
However, keen walker Mr Prendergast (63) was aghast and indignant at the signs.
He said: “I was disgusted when I heard about these signs. We live in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and we have imperial measurements.
“I think it’s a kick in the teeth for those residents in the town who voted for Brexit. We have voted to leave the EU and we don’t live in continental Europe.
“These signs should be in miles, but some smart Alec at the council has decided they should be in kilometres. I live in the Lake District, I do a lot of walking and I measure it in miles.
“I think this is the thin end of the wedge, it’s plain silly. They will have us driving on the right hand side of the road next.”
The Brun Valley Forest Park has been developed by Burnley Council and Lancashire County Council and links together existing open spaces on the Brun Valley, providing approximately 15 kilometres of paths.
A Burnley Council spokesman said: “Burnley has some beautiful places to visit, whatever way you want to measure it.
“We chose kilometres because the Brun Valley Forest Park, which many of the signs are associated with, has been developed to encourage active recreation – walking, running, cycling – and people involved in recreational activities such as running tend to use kilometres to measure distance, for example the Burnley 10k run, Parkrun 5k.”
The 45 posts, which cost £4,300, were funded by a Forestry Commission grant.
As part of the Brun Valley Forest Park, the council provided finger posts to help visitors to explore the Forest Park and is in the process of installing maps and interpretive panels.
The council liaised with the Friends of Rowley on this and other projects around the Forest Park.