Have your say on on-street advertising ban

A consultation is currently underway on proposals to ban advertising boards – also known as ‘A’ Boards - and similar temporary on-street advertising in Edinburgh.

It is believed a citywide ban would help to reduce street clutter, which creates safety and access issues, particularly for those with mobility difficulties and sight impairments. This forms part of a wider Council commitment to minimise street clutter like signs, bollards and bins.

The removal of temporary on-street advertising structures from across the Capital’s streets has received widespread support from organisations such as the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), Living Streets and the Edinburgh Access Panel, who advocate the creation of barrier-free walkways.

The public, and businesses in particular, are now being asked for their views on proposals, and for ideas on how the Council and partners, including Business Gateway, can help them to promote their services using alternative means of advertising.

Transport and Environment Convener, Councillor Lesley Macinnes, said: “The proliferation of street clutter and ‘A’ Boards has a negative impact on Edinburgh’s streets, both in terms of their appearance and, more importantly, accessibility for all members of society.

“It is clear that we need to take stronger action on businesses in order to ensure that our pavements are welcoming and barrier-free. I do, however, appreciate the need for traders to promote their services, so would encourage anyone with an interest to take part in our consultation and let us know how we can support their growth.”

A spokesperson for RNIB Scotland said: “We welcome moves by City of Edinburgh Council to reduce the hazards that blind and partially sighted people encounter every day on our streets. A third of those RNIB surveyed said they had been injured when walking outside. Some felt so intimidated they ended up staying at home.

“We know it’s impossible for streets to be entirely free of clutter. But advertisement boards, for example, could be mounted on walls instead of on the street. The Equality Act empowers councils to take reasonable steps to allow disabled people to avoid substantial disadvantages caused by physical features. It is also an offence to wilfully obstruct free passage along the road.

“It is vital that an international tourist destination like Edinburgh is open and accessible to residents and visitors with disabilities.”

The Council’s current policy on A-Boards sets out a series of guidelines, including the prohibition of such structures on Princes Street and the Royal Mile and, in other areas, the permission of only one A-Board per premises. However many businesses do not adhere to these rules.

The consultation will run until Wednesday, 7 March and is available for participation on the Council website.

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