Hard to avoid creeping A-board invasion
BREAKING NEWS… Ashford has a second shared space.
Together with Bank Street and Elwick Road, the rest of the town centre is now also home to a new kind of shared space which allow pedestrians and A-boards that advertise or promote various shops and businesses to mix together in harmony.
But that’s not strictly true as the A-boards seem to be totally dominant… and are everywhere.
This is not the first time we’ve mentioned the proliferation of A-boards in and around the town centre but the issue has been highlighted again by Nuts and Bolts fan Devsiri Hewavidana, of Park Farm, who contacted us about the problem.
He said: “Over the years, various shop signs and billboards have started to crop up outside some shops in our town.
“Originally they were right in front of the said shops, but I have noticed the owners are slowly moving the signs to the middle of the walking space week by week (marketing at its best).
“But when one shop moves their board three yards on to the road, his competitor moves his four yards etc.
“Now it has become ridiculous. They seem to have come to some sort of truce and agreed to put the boards in a straight line, but never mind the inconvenience to walkers.
“As you can see from my photo some shop owners are brazen enough to block the whole walking area with their line of signs.”
Devsiri goes on to describe the section of the High Street near Marks & Spencer as the “great obstacle course” and as his picture shows he has a point.
So last Friday our Nuts and Bolts A-board investigation unit took to the streets to carry out a random count of how many there are in the town centre.
In the Upper and Lower High Street, New Street, New Rents and Bank Street we counted an incredible 99!
So it’s not so much a question of A-board as overboard.
We raised this issue last year saying it a double-edged sword because there are pros and cons.
The ‘pro’ angle is that they advertise a particular shop’s products or services, and businesses need every assistance they can get in drumming up trade.
We put out a board ourselves on Thursdays, so you can see what’s in that day’s paper.
The ‘con’ is that some reckon so many make the town look shabby and pose a potential danger to the elderly and blind.
There are rules on A-board erection and use.
Kent County Council website says: “If you own a business and want to place an A-board on the pavement outside your property, you may need planning permission.
“Please contact your local district council for further information.
“You must do this before you start using the A-board.
“You do not need a licence, but do need to agree to the requirements. We need to keep paths and roads clear for users, and if A-boards are causing an obstruction, we may remove them.”
Further information on the rules about A-boards can be seen at http://www.kent.gov. uk/roads-and-travel/highwaypermits-and-licences/ requirements-for-an-a-board
The Lidl supermarket in New Street, Ashford is extremely popular with shoppers, both for the quality of its products and its cheap prices.
Go in there any time and there’s plenty of people in the aisles or at the tills.
But (doesn’t there always have to be a but), wouldn’t it be nice if they had a self-service checkout or a basket-only one.
A member of the N&B team regularly stops off there for bread or single items on the way home from work, usually some time between 5.15pm and 6pm, which is obviously a peak shopping time.
But if infuriates him that he often is stuck behind people with a weekly shop of say 30 items for five or 10 minutes waiting to pay for a couple of baguettes or a tin of soup.
So Lidl, please can you introduce a self-service, six items or basket-only checkout to put Victor Meldrew out of his misery.
Fancy that – the average Briton spends more than 2,300 hours in bed in just one year according to a new survey (oh, how Nuts and Bolts loves a good survey).
And new research from TopCashback.co.uk reveals what really drives South East residents crazy in bed with a list of the region’s biggest bedroom hates and also uncovers their revealing bedroom habits.
More than two-fifths (41%) of residents change their bedding weekly and 40% reckon it’s gross not to do that.
The study also reveals that eating in bed is definitely a ‘no, no’ with 84% of people admitting to being crumbconscious and not allowing snacks between the sheets.
Other bedroom revelations are that only 24% of us iron our bedding, 31% won’t get into bed without showering or bathing and three-quarters insist on making their bed every morning.
Things that drive people mad include crumbs in the bed (66%), wet towels left on the bed (61%), stains on the pillows (59%), smoking in bed (58%) and duvets without covers (56%).
Getting around town centre has become something of an obstacle course as retailers’ A-boards take up more space; Lidl just needs to checkout its checkouts
Crumbs in the bed big pet hate of those who took survey