Ipswich Society: A-Boards, a problem in Ipswich

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  • #3467 Score: 0
    Profile photo of Ipswi
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    Ipswich Society has spoken out about A-Boards in their April 2017 newsletter making reference to what they call the “Tacket Street ‘A’ Board nirvana”, St Stephens Lane and M&S in Westgate Street.

    At last a move on the obstructions that blight the High Streets across the country.  A couple of councils in the north of England have moved to restrict the use of A Boards in shopping streets.


    Ipswich Borough Council has in the past been unwilling to upset those local businesses which currently use A Boards (which includes the Tourist Office in St Stephens Lane and M&S in Westgate Street).

    This isn’t new to us… “unsightly collection of A-boards outside the Tourist Information Centre“, “several businesses still had their A boards out and people were struggling to get through“, “Tacket St – cluttered with a cluster of 6 A-boards” and “Some shops are considerate where they are placed. Some stick their A-board nowhere near their shop and the council doesn’t bat an eyelid!” …and also not new to the Ipswich Society, in January 2014 newsletter they highlighted a sensible and realistically achievable list of 10 ways to improve the town centre including the target of:-

    Introduce legislation that prevents retailers obstructing the highway with ‘A’ boards. Fascia signs and protruding signs above the shop are subject to planning legislation. An ‘A’ board in the highway is an obstruction to the free flow of pedestrians, particularly those members of the community who are visually impaired or have mobility difficulties. All such signs should be subject to similar planning constraints.

    This also included “Make Arras Square a ‘no parking’ zone and include St Stephen’s Lane; we have seen at least one private car parked in this square throughout the working day on a regular basis” and “Introduce on-the-spot fines for private cars using Dogs Head Street and Upper Brook Street and run a campaign of implementation. Again, simply enforce the current vehicle ban” although other options I don’t agree with including “Introduce a policy of residential development in the town centre; encourage people to live close to where they work, where they shop and where they spend their leisure time. Examples could be the conversion of the Great White Horse Hotel into flats, County Hall into apartments and new homes on Cox Lane car park and the Civic Centre site.” – The highlighted part we managed to prevent – for now.

    As for the A-Boards, I hope Ipswich Borough Council takes note. One A-board per shop front, within a reasonable distance of the shop and not obstructing the pavement.

    #3487 Score: 0
    Profile photo of Dan
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    I would be surprised if Ipswich Borough Council followed the footsteps of York…

    #3489 Score: 0
    Profile photo of Mart
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    back in the good old days, I guess it must be 30 plus years ago there was a zero tolerance policy on A boards outside premises in Ipswich town centre so far as I recall. Any one putting one out fell foul of a chap whom I would guess must have been part of the Planning Department enforcement team, and who you did not cross, so I was told at the time. Rarely therefore did you ever see an A board in Ipswich, and we were better off for it.

    Any A board on the public footpath is an obstruction, it’s in contravention of DDA requirements and is therefore hazardous,  and so far as I can see needs no further policy statement, regulation or such like, its just needs someone to enforce because it now really is out of hand.

    I'm really quite cross now, so watch out!

    #3491 Score: 0
    Profile photo of Dan
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    Businesses have no implied right to stick A Boards on the public highway (roads, pavements or verges) but they are permitted to on any private land forecourt they own or have a right to use.

    A full ban might be strict – personally I am immune to reading A Boards although I notice their untidy cluttered shape with great annoyance – but common sense decency should apply. It isn’t just about disabilities but reducing footfall outside their premises is counterproductive?

    Any shop or restaurant etc. that has significant fascia signage doesn’t need A-Boards.

    Ipswich Society has been trying to get IBC to take action over A-Boards for some considerable time now. I wonder if it is permitted for a person(s) to remove the A Boards from sight. IBC is the local authority but the boards have no lawful authority being where they are. The A Boards outside the Tourist Information Centre doesn’t set a good example either.

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