Sidmouth town centre A-board crackdown

TOWN councillors are taking the lead to rid Sidmouth town centre of obstructive advertising boards.

TOWN councillors are taking the lead to rid Sidmouth town centre of obstructive advertising boards.

Concern was expressed at Wednesday's planning meeting, that a proliferation of the free-standing A-boards was obstructing pavements in the shopping centre, preventing those with prams or in wheelchairs from easily using paths.

"I am forever moving signs because of considering those with pushchairs or wheelchairs who can't get on the pavement," said Councillor Graham Liverton.

"I think it is time this council took a lead now. Things have been difficult for businesses but these things are creeping back up again.

"In the summer they want to sell their wares. These boards are increasing and are dangerous. We have got to mean business on this."

He said so many signs and tables and chairs on paths was beginning to make Sidmouth look tatty.

Most Read

"How do we overcome this situation?" he asked.

Councillor Peter Sullivan suggested flagging it up at the Traffic Management Committee.

He wondered how a business near Market Place had managed to get permission to have tables and chairs in front of its shop.

In FolkWeek many signs were put out and have remained since, said Mr Sullivan.

"When they are causing an obstruction it is wrong. You try to be reasonable but this is being unreasonable," added Mr Liverton.

"Some shops have two signs out, particularly in Old Fore Street," said Councillor Mary Jolly.

"They forget there is a road [even though it is paved] and the signs come to the edge of it and people have to step into the road, which adds to the dangers, especially for wheelchair users.

"Several people have talked to me, asking for something to be done."

Planning chairman, Councillor Ian Mackenzie-Edwards said: "I did walk around the town and this is a perennial problem. Letters go out and in due course they creep back again."

Mr Liverton said the matter should be sorted out with County Highways "but I have an awful feeling the buck is passed from one to the other. You can't continually pass the buck. Residents and others get fed up with this and we have got to try to stop it."

Town clerk Trina Jarrett suggested a spot check around the town would help provide evidence of the problem to Devon County Council's East Devon engineer Paul Wilson.