Dorset road ‘Darkie Lane’ to keep its name despite being ‘offensive’

·1-min read
 (Google Maps)
(Google Maps)

A road called Darkie Lane will keep its name despite a complaint to the council that it is offensive.

Most residents who responded to a public consultation said they were opposed to the road in Swanage, Dorset, being renamed “Dark Lane”.

The road reportedly got its name due to a line of elm trees and hedges that made it dark and shady.

Swanage Council had decided to recommend that Dorset Council rename Darkie Lane to Dark Lane, after getting a letter of complaint from a family visiting the town in the summer.

The visitors reportedly said the name Darkie Lane had racist connotations and could “very easily cause offence to others given our national history”.

However the name change was shelved after five of eight households responded to Dorset Council’s request for views on the naming of the road.

Four stated their preference was for no change of the road name, and one responded saying they wanted it changed to something else, not the proposed Dark Lane, and no responses were received in favour of changing it to Dark Lane.

A council spokesman said: “Dorset Council’s power to alter street names can only be exercised ‘with the consent of two-thirds in number of the ratepayers and persons who are liable to pay an amount in respect of council tax in any street’.”

Cllr Mike Whitwam, who opposed the name change at the time, said: “I felt the decision was made purely to satisfy political correctness, which is destroying culture in this country.

“It has been called Darkie Lane for many years and nobody has taken offence except this one do-gooder who has complained to the council.”

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