– Digital mischief by Tracy PetersMOTORISTS arriving in Maitland could soon be forgiven for thinking they are en route to the Champs-Elysées, with councillors flagging plans for grandiose entrance signs to the city.

A debate that started with a call for a welcome sign at the city’s western boundary has ended with a call for all of the city’s gateways to be signposted, with some councillors suggesting Arc de Triomphe-style entrances.

Cr Philip Penfold’s notice of motion to define the city’s western gateway was certainly a sign of bigger and better things to come, when his idea snowballed at a meeting on Tuesday night during a ‘‘passionate’’ 15-minute debate.

Councillors voted unanimously for a report on the preferred locations, cost estimates and a recommended plan to erect ‘‘Welcome to Maitland’’ signs at each entry point.

Cr Loretta Baker said that some councillors’ visions for the signs were too grand, likening them to Paris’s Arc de Triomphe.

Cr Peter Garnham said the city’s existing welcome signs were from old promotional campaigns and needed a revamp.

‘‘New signage will instil a great pride of place for the residents of the city,’’ Cr Penfold said.

‘‘It will also add tourism appeal and highlight that we are a city of our own and not what may be seen to be an extension of Newcastle.

‘‘Hopefully a future council resolution, after the report is complete, will allow us to proudly welcome residents and visitors to Maitland with clearly defined signage.’’