The development of a policy around the use of advertising boards on public footways is being reviewed by Calderdale Council’s Cabinet, to ensure the proposals meet the needs of local people.
In October 2021, Cabinet approved a trial A-boards policy to try and address concerns raised by local groups about the use of free-standing advertising A-boards on pavements in Calderdale town centres. This policy provided for a minimum of 1.8metres of available footway around all A-boards.
The decision to introduce this policy has since been reviewed by the Adults, Health and Social Care Scrutiny Board. The Board agreed that further consultation should be carried out before any scheme is implemented. Cabinet will now discuss the recommendations from the Scrutiny Board and plans to consult with interested groups. These would include the Royal National Institute for the Blind, local disability groups and business associations across the borough.
Options considered would include licensing arrangements whereby individual A-boards are approved; partial bans in certain designated areas, for example town centres; or even a total ban and removing A-board use in the borough completely.
Any agreed policy would then be adopted, initially on a trial basis, with officers reporting back to Cabinet in six months’ time.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Strategy, Cllr Jane Scullion, said:
“As a Council we have a statutory duty to protect the rights of all road users to enjoy the safe use of the highway. Obstructions, like A-boards, can impact upon this and although there is no national policy defining their agreed usage, we want to implement a scheme which meets the needs of both local people and businesses.
“I’d like to thank the Scrutiny Board for examining Cabinet’s previous decision in more detail and look forward to discussing their findings as well as hearing the views of local groups, to help us determine an agreed policy.”
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, Cllr Jenny Lynn, said:
“We know that the use of A-boards can pose particular problems for wheelchair and pushchair users, as well as the blind or partially sighted. We want to ensure that any agreed policy regarding the use of these boards protects the ability of travellers to navigate footways safely and independently.
“We also have to consider how any policy would be implemented and enforced and balance the requirements of business owners. By consulting with interested parties, we would hope to be able to trial a policy which is straightforward and proportionate.”
The development of an A-boards policy will be discussed at the meeting of Calderdale Council’s Cabinet on Monday 14 February 2022 from 6pm at Halifax Town Hall.