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Common sense prevails

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Forkhandles
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« on: October 20, 2010, 09:39:57 am »

Published on Thu Sep 30 09:14:13 BST 2010


PICKERING Town Council is calling for a dose of “common sense” in a row between highways chiefs and traders over the use of advertising boards on pavements outside businesses.


The move comes after letters were sent to businesses in Pickering telling them to move A-boards from the pavements or face legal action.

But councillors believe each case should be assessed on an individual basis before any decision is made to remove A-boards from the streets.

Traders have expressed fears that the A-board ban may be just the first step before they are told to remove other display items from the pavements as well.

In letters sent to Pickering businesses, Richard Marr, the area highways manager, described how A-boards are “illegal” if they are put on the public highway.

He describes the obstruction of footpaths as a widespread problem across the county which could potentially lead to problems for the visually impaired.

He also told traders that the problem in Pickering had reached such proportions that action must be taken before someone is injured and warned that anyone who carries on displaying the signs on pavements could have them taken away to a county council depot with repeat offenders facing the possibility of legal proceedings. But at Pickering Town Council’s meeting last week, councillors agreed to contact Mr Marr and say, although they welcome the reduction of the number of signs, they feel a blanket ban is “draconian” and instead called for more common sense in what is judged to be an obstruction.

Cllr Ken Kitching said: “I think this cries for common sense and not for a blanket ban which in some instances does not effect safety in any way, shape or form but in other cases may do so.

“Look at each situation on its merits. If it is a danger to pedestrians than answer is no. If it is not a danger then the answer is yes.”

Cllr Julie Hepworth said she was upset there had been no “compromise” offered for those traders whose businesses were sited on wide pavements where safety was less of an issue to pedestrians and people pushing prams or using wheelchairs.

And Cllr Mal Danks said a blanket ban on A-boards could have a real effect on events which are dependent on using signs to pull in visitors.

She pointed to her fundraising work for Pickering Memorial Hall which lies away from the centre of the town and needs as much advertising as possible to make events a success
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