Hampshire County Council have said that as long as the A-boards are not blocking highways traders will be free to use them despite a letter received by several of them last week.
Hampshire County Councillor Tony Hooke said he has spoken to the Head of Highways at Hampshire County Council and, after a walk around the town yesterday (Tuesday 26th August) with a representative from the department, it was agreed no further action would be taken against shops as long as their boards were not blocking footpaths.
“I’ve discussed the issue with them and it has been agreed that as long as the highways are not being blocked then the shops are okay to carry on using them” he said.
The letter, dated 21st August, states that signs “can cause an obstruction or distraction to highway users and present a safety risk“. Local traders however rely on the signs to attract business especially when they are not on the main High Street.
Councillor Seán Woodward, Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment at Hampshire County Council said:
“I understand that A-boards are used as a means of advertising but when a number of businesses are all putting these out in a pedestrian area, it can impact on people’s ability to move freely about the town. We have recently written to businesses in Andover to ask them to remove their A-boards from the public highway for this reason.”
“A-boards cause particular difficulties for pedestrians with sight or mobility problems, and for people with pushchairs who can find it difficult to manoeuvre around them safely. We need to balance supporting the local economy with making sure the footway is safe and there is enough room for everyone to use the high street without difficulty or worry.”
This is not the first time there has been an issue with the A-Boards in Andover. Back in February 2013 traders in Waterloo Court successfully campaigned to keep theirs after receiving letters requesting they be removed.