Residents in Wiltshire road divided over the unappealing title of the Slag Lane clash

After unsuccessful calls for the lane to be renamed Lakeside View, signs have mysteriously disappeared.

The Wiltshire town of Westbury is best known for the white horse carved into the chalky hillside above its Victorian streets and visible for miles around.

But a more down-to-earth feature of the former mill and ironworks town – a road called Slag Lane – has been causing a stir.

Some residents of the lane are unhappy with the rather ugly name and, after unsuccessful calls for it to be changed, the signs mysteriously vanished.

Other local people argued the name was an important reminder of the town’s industrial past and demanded that the signs be reinstated. On Tuesday Wiltshire council confirmed that new signs had been ordered and would be in place soon.

The row has been rumbling on for at least 10 years after some opponents argued the name was offensive and called for the lane to be changed to the more romantic Lakeside View.

Members of Westbury town council debated the issue in 2014 and concluded that the current name reflected the area’s heritage. The lane is near the site of Westbury ironworks, which opened in 1859 and closed in 1933. The ironworks’ legacy included pits filled with water known locally as the Mineholes, slag heaps – and Slag Lane.

The matter was raised through Wiltshire council’s local highways and footway improvement group and new signs were ordered.

Caroline Thomas, the Wiltshire council cabinet member for transport and street scene, said: “Following a request raised through the local highways and footway improvement group with support from Westbury town council, new replacement signage was ordered for Slag Lane in Westbury.

“Whilst we are unsure what had happened to the original signage, the replacement signage has now been delivered and has been programmed for installation in due course as part of our local highways maintenance programme.”

Street signs can often be a bone of contention. Last year, residents in the Hampshire village of Twyford successfully campaigned to have an apostrophe that had vanished from their street sign – St Mary’s Terrace – replaced.

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