On-street advertising board ban imminent

Saturday 29th April 2017 4:10 am
A-board pavement signs on Castle Street, Douglas ()

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Douglas councillors have reminded traders in the capital that there will be a ban on the use of so-called A-boards on pavements and precincts from the end of June.

The decision, which was taken last year, is an attempt to reduce the amount of clutter and obstruction in the town’s shopping centre.

Council leader, David Christian, said the move had been supported by Manx Blind Welfare and did not seem to have met with opposition from any quarters.

’I am not aware of any major objections. Unfortunately some signs can start off close to the building but slowly move out further into the street.

’However, we are supportive of small signs being attached to the building on a frame,’ he said.

He added the initial decision was taken more than a year ago, motivated partly by the invonvenience caused not just to blind people but those who were disabled or using wheelchairs or mobility scooters as well. It was also added congestion for street cleaning teams to negotiate as well, he said.

Although the council was committed to supporting local retailers in difficult trading conditions, he added he did not feel A-boards made any contribution to promoting retail businesses, or the capital’s positive and welcoming image.

The problem has affected other towns and cities in the UK. For example A-board controversy raged in Bath last year after its council enforced rules governing the positioning of boards, which have to be placed close to the building.

Manx Blind Welfare Society has welcomed a decision not to issue licences for A-boards in Douglas.

Manx Blind Welfare Society chief executive Ian Cooil said: ’By their nature A-boards obstruct pedestrians and present an obvious trip and collision hazard, especially to people with impaired vision.

’Any obstruction in the street creates a huge challenge to blind and visually impaired people as they go about their everyday business, so we welcome all moves to minimise or remove these unnecessary challenges. The purpose of the Society is to assist visually impaired people to live their lives as independently as they choose, so identifying and addressing any impediment to independent living is core to our mission. We also understand the decision will not be universally popular with all business, but would like to express our gratitude for their co-operation.’

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