WELCOME signs placed on roads into Crewe were defaced by vandals within two days of being installed.

Fourteen ‘Welcome to Crewe’ signs were placed on major routes into the town by the town council on Thursday, March 12, but were defaced less than 48 hours later.

Signs in Valley Road and Coppenhall Lane were both targeted with graffiti.

Town clerk Steve McQuade said: “We deplore the vandalism and the antisocial messages. It is the work of a small minority and we hope that in time the novelty will wear off.

“It is disappointing that a positive story for Crewe had been tarnished in this way, but the massive majority of residents have deplored the actions of a few and are committed to seeing Crewe welcome visitors in the same way that other towns of a similar size do.”

The signs, costing under £1,000 each, were funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government without direct cost to local residents.

Leader of the town council, Kevin Hickson, described the funding as a ‘real bonus’.

“There is something important here about civic pride and the need for us all to be proud of what Crewe has to offer, the town has lagged behind others in not clearly marking its boundaries, now we have a town council in place it is good to fill that void and have in place signage appropriate to a town the size of Crewe.

“With these gateway signs we hope we can use them not only to promote the name of Crewe, but also to promote events and other activities in and around Crewe.”

Meanwhile, commentators on social questioned the signs’ necessity.

On Twitter, @sophb26 said: “I don't know why they thought it was a good idea to put a 'welcome to Crewe sign' up, we all knew someone was gonna write on it.”

@mark_Kettle added: “The shiny new signs telling us we are in Crewe, in such times of austerity, how does such unnecessary expense get authorised?”

Mr McQuade said in light of the vandalism, the white sub plates planned for use to promote Crewe would be taken down until the appropriate messages are ready to be installed.

The damage is currently being repaired with the help of Cheshire East Council.