Signs put up to welcome visitors to Dumfries and Galloway were taken down after confusion between the council and road engineers.

The local authority, thinking it had permission, erected thousands of posters across the area to ask people to respect the region last month as restrictions eased and tourism increased.

However Amey removed signs on trunk roads, such as the A75, as talks were just at a “preliminary stage”.

Councillor Ivor Hyslop, at Tuesday’s economy and resources committee, said: “Were we involved in putting up the ‘Welcome back to Dumfries and Galloway’ signs which were then all removed because we didn’t get the proper permissions from Amey?

“I think they were on the A75, A76 and A701 and all had the signs that officers put up removed.”

Steve Rogers, the council’s head of economy and development, said he “wasn’t aware of the details” but could provide confirmation to members “offline”.

However council leader Elaine Murray offered another side to the story.

Dr Murray said: “My understanding is the ward officer concerned with putting up those signs had contacted Amey and had permission from somebody.

“So it wasn’t his or the council’s fault. He had actually sought the permission but, unfortunately, that person was on holiday and Amey operatives were not made aware that this been sought and agreed and they thought they were signs that shouldn’t have been there and took them down.

“So I think it’s unfair to describe this as the people not getting the proper permissions.”

A spokesperson for Amey said: “Amey, on behalf of Transport Scotland, were in discussion about the safe and appropriate siting of these signs, but it appears the council took the decision to press ahead and install this signage while this process was still at a preliminary stage.

“We are continuing to work with Dumfries and Galloway Council to address this issue and assist as best we can to ensure that any signage adjacent to the trunk road meets legal and statutory requirements and presents no hazard to the travelling public, or the network.”