TWO towns whose residents voted to leave the Stockton borough and join Yorkshire may not have achieved their aim – but new signs will soon be installed showing the “ceremonial” boundaries of Yorkshire and Durham.

Residents of Thornaby and Yarm voted 72 per cent and 90 per cent, respectively, in favour of leaving Stockton Borough Council.

Initially Yarm residents wanted to become part of North Yorkshire during their referendum in 2014, but then campaigners came up with the idea of another authority making up the settlements south of the River Tees when Thornaby voted in 2015.

However, the votes were not legally binding and Stockton Council instead decided to recognise the historical significance of the North Riding of Yorkshire by installing signs to mark the ceremonial county boundaries.

Stockton Council’s Place Select Committee has been reviewing the plan.

And at its meeting on Wednesday, committee members will consider a proposal to install boundary signs at four locations –on Yarm Bridge

The locations identified are Yarm Bridge/High Street, Jubilee Bridge, Victoria Bridge and the Princess of Wales Bridge.

Leader of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, Councillor Bob Cook, said: “It’s great that so many people feel such a strong sense of pride in being from County Durham and Yorkshire and a real connection with the identity, history and heritage of these ceremonial counties.

“This proposal has been drawn-up following extensive consultation with local people and the publication of revised regulations by the Department for Transport, which completed a national review of road signage last year.

“It will now be considered by members of the committee and any further comments received will be taken into consideration before the signs are introduced.”

Terry Chapman, who was involved in the votes in both towns, said: “We welcome the installation of the signs but this doesn’t do anything to address the fundamental concern that the relationship between those communities on the south side of the river and Stockton council is broken beyond repair.

“There is no respect for Thornaby and Yarm. “Clearly Stockton doesn’t want to lose Yarm because they see it as a cash cow, but we are already 1,000 new houses and the traffic congestion which results from this.

“The signs won’t solve the problems being faced by those south of the river from decisions made by an authority which only seems concerned with the communities north of the river.”