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A-boards in Liverpool - your thoughts?

Liverpool plans to licence advertising boards on the pavements - what should the licence control?

Pavement advertising boards – usually called “A-boards” though they’re not all that shape nowadays – can be a hazard if you have sight difficulties or have problems with mobility. Liverpool City Council is planning to control them better by issuing licences, and they want to know what sort of things those licences should specify.

The issue of A-boards was discussed at the Liverpool City Council Corporate Access forum on 19/12/11. An informal survey by Liverpool City staff in the summer suggested that there are more than 500 in the city centre. And every one if them is technically breaking the law (because to put something on the pavement you need the LCC Highway department approval – and they haven’t given any).

You might think that the quickest lan is to just scoop them up and confiscate them. Apparently it’s not as easy as that. When they tried that in another town, the shopkeepers just replaced them (it was cheaper to do that than to go to the council and get them released – and just destroying them has legal problems). And even in the internet age, businesses seem to need them.

Liverpool is going for a pragmatic approach. They’re thinking of allowing them – but only if they have been issued with a Council licence. The licence will spell out things like exactly where they can be put, and how big they can be. The City has tried the same thing already with those new pavement cafes – the ones that allow hardy Britons to pretend they’re at the Med and combine nicotine poisoning with pneumonia.

The council says that it has worked pretty well for the cafes. The pavement seating is better controlled, and the café owners who have got licences help put pressure on any rogue cafes that don’t get one.

It also helps the City’s plan to keep a business-friendly image, and presumably to get more income from licensing fees.

Do you have any thoughts about licensing the A-Boards? Do you have any thoughts about what sort of things the licences should specify: things like colour, weight, distance from the kerb-line? If you do then contact Fraser Arnott at the City Council

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