Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce News

Are A Boards really necessary?

25 Oct 2017 by Sandra Doherty

Today I was interviewed by BBC Leeds to see what I and the Chamber thought about A Boards on the streets of Harrogate

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To be fair I had noticed that there seems to be rather more of them than there were, but I hadn’t given much thought to the potential problems they could cause.

Along with the film crew came Simon who is disabled and uses a powered wheelchair to get about.

He explained just how difficult it was for him on certain streets where some businesses have more than one A Board and they are quite close together.

He finds in difficult to navigate the pavements especially on busy Saturdays when there are large numbers of people all vying for the same place to cross the road. When these waves of people part in front of his he is often faced by an A Board which he couldn’t see until the last moment causing him to swerve and further upset the pedestrians.

His concern extends to blind or partially sighted people and people with push chairs.

The Chamber contacted North Yorkshire County Council who were very helpful in providing their criteria for the use of A Boards.

Every business can use one not more

There must be a minimum of 2m space free to walk through, but they would like to see 3.5m

All boards on any one street must be in line – So either all next to the building or all nearer the road

They must be in an appropriate place and not fixed to the building or pavement

They cannot be on a junction or obscure the line of sight for traffic

They must not cause a distraction to traffic

They must contain appropriate information about the business and must not be offensive

If they are not in compliance, they can be removed by NYCC officers

Looking at it from the business point of view I realise that they are taking every opportunity to encourage people into their premises and as the high street is under severe pressure from on-line sales I can’t really blame them.

I think that some sensibility has to prevail so that our pavements are both suitable for all users and can be made inviting and informative for businesses.

So, if you have a business using an A Board please take note of the correct way to use it and confer with your neighbouring businesses so that you all present a united line so that you don’t risk having your boards removed.

Remember NYCC do not have to come into your business to ask you to move it or reduce the number you are using. They can and will remove it without warning.

Are they necessary?  Well no but they can be a valuable advertising space for businesses.