Welsh drivers demand bilingual parking tickets

What would be an English person's response to receiving a written notification of a speeding fine in French. They may tear the letter up, or perhaps even make a claim of mistaken identity.

It should be of little surprise then that a parking ticket issued in the Northern Welsh county of Gwynedd, where more than half the residents speak in their native tongue, has been the cause of confusion and anger for a female motorist.

Indeed, the female driver and her father were so frustrated that the ticket wasn't bilingual that they launched a protest against the demanded payment of £65.

The proud Welsh mother and long time resident of Gwynedd said, “I feel strongly about the parking ticket being issued in English because our first language is Welsh.

“It's what I speak at home. It's not fair that they have issued the ticket in English.”

Such is the outcry against the erosion of Welsh identity that the Gwynedd Councillor for Penrhyndeudraeth has announced his support for her case.

However, the chances of overturning the fine are minimal, as the 1983 Welsh language act does not cover the issuing of documents by private companies.

This case would seem to lend credence to the Lonely Planet overview of Welshness as “a strength of spirit and character which despite centuries of neglect and attempted assimilation remains defiant.”

Photo © snigl3t via Flickr, under Creative Commons Licence

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