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Citywide advertising board ban begins next week

Posted: 31st October 2018

A citywide ban on all temporary on-street advertising structures, such as advertising boards (known as ‘A’ boards), will come into force next Monday (5 November).

The ban, which was approved by members of the Transport and Environment Committee in May, aims to create safer, more accessible streets, particularly for those with disabilities such as sight impairments and mobility difficulties.

The Council wrote to businesses across the Capital in October with further information on the change, advising that on-street advertising should be removed by midnight on 4 November.

Initially, environmental wardens will visit businesses to ensure awareness and maximise compliance with the ban, with formal enforcement action taken on those that remain non-compliant following this stage of the process.

Transport and Environment Convener, Councillor Lesley Macinnes, said: “This is ultimately about opening up our streets for all members of society, creating welcoming, clutter-free spaces where people can move freely.

“We’ve heard from lots of different groups about the mobility issues caused by the presence of temporary, moveable structures such as advertising boards, so it’s clear that action needs to be taken if we are to live in a truly equal, accessible city.

“As we approach the implementation of the ban, we’ve written to all businesses to ensure they have the relevant information, and in the coming months our wardens will be visiting shops, cafes, restaurants and other premises to offer advice and guidance on alternative advertising options.”

The Council’s decision in May to enforce a citywide ban follows a period of public consultation and engagement with stakeholders, including Living Streets, Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and the Edinburgh Access Panel, along with various traders’ associations, Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) and community councils.

A spokesperson for RNIB Scotland said: “We very much welcome this move by the City of Edinburgh Council to help make the streets of the capital more accessible to visually impaired people. A vital element for any successful 21st century city must be inclusivity. A city that is open and welcoming to everyone, residents and visitors, no matter what needs or disabilities they may have. This move is a big step in that direction.”

David Spaven, Convenor of Living Streets Edinburgh Group, said: “Many Edinburgh pavements have become obstacle courses in recent years, and removing advertising boards will make it much easier to get around comfortably and safely on foot and in wheelchairs. Clutter-free streets will be more attractive and will help to make Edinburgh a more walkable city – and that’s in everyone’s interests.”

Amongst feedback it was recognised that the city’s pavements should be as safe and accessible as possible, and that minimising temporary on-street advertising would make a significant contribution toward achieving this.

To further support businesses with the change, a webpage has been set up, including guidance on different types of advertising and business promotion.

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