Health and safety ban on ad boards
FOR decades they have turned the busy pavements of Scotland’s capital into an obstacle course for pedestrians.
But now advertising boards are to be banned in Edinburgh – for health and safety reasons.
The City of Edinburgh Council’s transport and environment committee yesterday approved a ban on ‘all forms of temporary onstreet advertising structures’. This will be put in place in the autumn and will be enforced by a dedicated team of officers.
Concerns about so-called A-boards had been raised by people with disabilities, especially those with sight impairments and mobility difficulties. In a report, the committee said that everyone ‘regardless of their circumstance’ should have a right to ‘use and enjoy’ the city’s streets ‘with confidence’.
It added: ‘Whilst the council recognises that businesses have concerns about stricter controls on temporary on-street advertising, the pavements are a public resource and their effective use by the public is therefore the council’s highest priority.’
The local authority’s public safety section and Police Scotland have raised concerns about the boards. The report added: ‘These concerns primarily relate to pedestrian safety at mass gatherings, where advertising structures contribute to restricting crowd movement potentially causing injury through collision or trips.
‘Significant concerns also relate to the risk that structures could be used to conceal terrorism-related devices.’
The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) welcomed the move yesterday.
Sandra Wilson, of Edinburgh-based RNIB Scotland, said the ban would make the streets ‘safer and more inclusive’ for those with disabilities.