Hard to avoid creep­ing A-board in­va­sion

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Nuts & Bolts -

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%).

Sleep tight!

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

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