At last a move on the obstructions that blight the High Streets across the country. A couple of councils in the north of England have moved to restrict the use of A Boards in shopping streets.
York City Council have introduced a ‘prohibition zone' banning pavement advertising boards which will go some way to clear the pavements of clutter. York is not the first council to outlaw A Boards; Bradford City Council has imposed a trial year long ban. Liverpool has licensed A Boards since 2012 and enforces a set of parameters that owners must follow, a clear 2 metre space around each board and no boards in Conservation Areas or outside listed buildings.
Some streets in York are narrow and crowded, leaving little space for street furniture. The arrival of an increasing number of A Boards over recent years has been causing areas of obstruction, a trip hazard and restricts the free movement of emergency vehicles. Other councils, including Loughborough and Chester are watching York with interest.
Ipswich Borough Council has in the past been unwilling to upset those local businesses which currently use A Boards (which includes the Tourist Office in St Stephens Lane and M&S in Westgate Street).
The ban has not been universally popular amongst some of York's street- side businesses.