A council has faced an angry backlash from residents after suggesting they will 'phase out' apostrophes on street signs in line with several other councils in England.

Issuing a statement this week, North Yorkshire Council said that the change is the correct move, due to the way that street names are stored in databases across the country.

In its statement, the local authority did highlight that apostrophes on a street sign would be "considered" but "avoided where possible" - along with other types of punctuation that might be used in street signs. 

The Northern Echo: St Mary's Walk in HarrogateSt Mary's Walk in Harrogate (Image: GOOGLE MAPS)

Its full statement read: "All punctuation will be considered but avoided where possible because street names and addresses, when stored in databases, must meet the standards set out in BS7666.

"This restricts the use of punctuation marks and special characters (e.g. apostrophes, hyphens and ampersands) to avoid potential problems when searching the databases as these characters have specific meanings in computer systems." 

The Northern Echo: St Olave's Close in RiponSt Olave's Close in Ripon (Image: GOOGLE MAPS)

Despite North Yorkshire Council's decision on punctuation on street signs, people have reacted angrily to the news - calling it "absurd" and "a highly strange decision".

Carrie Anne Bodle, who lives in North Yorkshire, said that she taught her children the alphabet and punctuation using street signs and says the council's decision "dumbs down the English language".

The Northern Echo: St Hilda's Road in HarrogateSt Hilda's Road in Harrogate (Image: GOOGLE MAPS)

She said: "Is there anything residents can do to voice our concerns on this other than email the council? I used to use road signs - any letters or numbers - to help teach my young children the alphabet and how to read when out and about. This dumbs down our language and makes it confusing."

Meanwhile, another North Yorkshire resident, Malcolm Cruise, went one step further to say that this change reflects the current outlook of England. 

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He said: "Another pointer to the fact that our country is well on the slippery slope"

However, another resident, Jennifer Marie Buck, noted that it had been happening "for some time" already.

She said: "This isn't new, they've been doing it for a while. They've already painted over the apostrophe in the 'St. Olave's Close street signs in Ripon"