City of Edinburgh Council votes to ban advertising A-boards in the capital

Written by Jenni Davidson on 18 May 2018 in News

The City of Edinburgh Council has voted to ban all on-street temporary advertising

View of Edinburgh - Image credit: City of Edinburgh Council

Advertising A-boards are to be banned across Edinburgh, after the council’s Transport and Environment Committee voted to outlaw all temporary on-street advertising.

Committee members voted unanimously for the ban, which aims to improve pedestrian safety and accessibility, particularly for those with disabilities such as sight impairments and mobility difficulties and parents with buggies.

The ban is also meant to provide more clarity for businesses, in contrast with the current policy, where A-boards are only controlled in certain areas.

City of Edinburgh Council transport and environment convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes, said: “This ban, which has received broad cross-party support, is the right move toward creating accessible, good quality public spaces in Edinburgh.

“Reducing street clutter is essential to opening up our streets for all members of society, providing safe, welcoming walkways and removing obstructions, and the ban of temporary on-street advertising structures will make a real difference.”

The decision follows a consultation, which included business associations and disabilities charities, with the latter welcoming the decision.

RNIB chair Sandra Wilson said: "We very much welcome this move to make the capital's streets safer and more inclusive for all residents and visitors with disabilities.

“It's something our RNIB Street Charter has been pressing for throughout the country.

“While we want businesses to prosper, our streets should not be an obstacle course to be negotiated.

A third of blind and partially sighted people surveyed by RNIB said they had been injured by pavement clutter.

“Some felt so intimidated they ended up staying isolated in their homes,” she added.

“This is surely unacceptable.”

Robin Wickes, vice chair of the Edinburgh Access Panel, said: “For wheelchair users and vision impaired people in particular navigating our streets is a real challenge, especially since many of our pavements are narrow and busy with visitors.

“Banning A-boards will remove a major barrier and help disabled people enjoy equality of access to Edinburgh's streets and pavements.”

The ban is expected to be rolled out in late 2018 and will be enforced by a dedicated team of officers for the first 12 to 18 months, with further enforcement to be reviewed after that.

The introduction of the ban will coincide with other initiatives to reduce street clutter such as signage, bollards and bins.

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