Devon blitz on pavement advertising boards

DEVON County Council is waging war on advertising boards illegally obstructing pavements in town centres. The council s highway superintendents will be inspecting across the county to ensure that pavements are kept clear. They will be investigating compla

DEVON County Council is waging war on advertising boards illegally obstructing pavements in town centres.

The council's highway superintendents will be inspecting across the county to ensure that pavements are kept clear. They will be investigating complaints and reminding traders of the regulations.

Devon County Council will not normally seek removal if signs extend no further than 450mm (18 inches) from the shop-front and leave at least two metres (6ft 6 inches) clearance for pedestrians.

However, a spokesman said this did not mean the county council was giving permission and if anyone was injured by signs they could claim from the relevant business.


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Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: "Local businesses and traders have our utmost support, especially during these difficult economic times, but access and safety must be maintained.

"Illegal signs placed on public highways can be a danger to pedestrians, especially people who are disabled, partially sighted or with pushchairs. Signs can be an obstruction if they are not displayed in a safe manner which enables everyone to use the footways."

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The County Council is working with some Town Councils to see how businesses in side streets can be better signposted in a way that does not cause safety concerns and complies with the Highways Act.

The owners of unauthorised signs will be asked to remove them, but when they are unavailable or repeat the offence, the signs will be removed by the county council.

Signs will be taken to a suitable depot to await collection by the owner except in the case of a poster, or similar, which is destroyed during its removal. A charge of �30 will be made for the recovery of each sign. Where appropriate, Devon County Council will initiate legal proceedings and seek recovery of all costs.

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