A zero tolerance approach has been adopted in the enforcement of the Council’s A-board policy, that will support businesses while keeping streets in the Bath and North East Somerset safe and free from clutter.
The Council’s Cabinet are supporting a recommendation from Councillor Martin Veal, Cabinet Member for Community Services, and officers to take a more robust enforcement approach which will see the boards confiscated if the rules under the Council’s Footway Obstructions Policy for A-boards are broken.
The rules permit businesses in the district to display one board against their property, but they must leave a 1.5 metre width of footway for pedestrians and they must also not be within 1.5 metres of any other A-board or any permanent or temporary item of street furniture, such as bus stops and bins.
However, in order to support the area’s businesses, the Council is looking to install temporary advertising columns with removable plaques in places where many businesses wish to use A-boards, such as the Corridor and Northumberland Passage in Bath city centre.
The Council will be working on this solution with the Bath Business Improvement District (BID) and Chambers of Commerce across the district over the coming weeks.
Councillor Martin Veal (Conservative, Bathavon North), Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “The Council understands the importance of advertising in keeping our businesses thriving in Bath and North East Somerset, but we must make sure that this does not stop people enjoying the streets in our city and towns.
“A-boards are a great way to attract customers’ attention, especially if businesses are inside alleys or streets, but we have had problems with them causing an obstruction to pedestrians and safety must always come first.
“This robust approach to enforcement will therefore leave no room for excuses – if it’s breaking the rules it will be impounded.”
Under the new approach, if businesses persist in breaching the rules then the board will be removed and kept for three months before being disposed of.
If owners wish to reclaim the board they will have to collect from the Council’s Bath storage facility and there will be a charge to the owner of £100 for release.
The zero tolerance approach will apply immediately where there are health and safety issues and stricter rules around the positioning of A Boards will come into force in late May.