Every summer, North Yorkshire County Council sees an increase in complaints about obstructions on pavements caused by advertisement boards put out by traders. Early last week, the Council’s local highways team called on traders in Scarborough to remove ‘A’ boards that were causing the most concern. By the end of the week, all the traders approached had taken in the boards.
Although the County Council has the authority to remove ‘A’ boards, it takes a tolerant approach to them because it is supportive of businesses and realises the importance of traders being able to promote goods and services. However, it must balance this against the safety of pedestrians. Obstructions can cause problems for many people, including those with visual impairments, wheelchair or mobility scooter users and families with pushchairs.
County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access, said: “I’m pleased to see traders taking this responsible approach. We much prefer to work with traders on this issue. Scarborough is a premier resort and we want its businesses to flourish. The aim is to maintain access for the public to enhance the town’s prosperity.
“Footpaths cluttered with obstacles like ‘A’ boards are not attractive to shoppers, who prefer to move around the town centre streets without barriers. We want to ensure easy access for all visitors, including, for example, people with mobility or sight issues or families with young children, so we thank the traders for responding positively. If we continue to work together, we can keep the town’s seafront free from obstructions.”
County Councillor Janet Jefferson, Member for Castle Division and a local business owner, said: “I think this is a credit to everyone involved. It has been an example of good teamwork between the traders and the County Council. Both traders and the Council have the town’s economic prosperity at heart and by clearing away some of this clutter on the seafront we’ll give shoppers a better experience and a perhaps a better chance to see the shops on offer.”