City of Edinburgh council has unanimously taken a decision to ban from streets across the city, all the temporary on-street advertising structures, including advertising boards (also known as ‘A’ Boards).
The decision aims to improve pedestrian safety and accessibility, particularly for those with disabilities such as sight impairments and mobility difficulties.
According to a survey carried out by Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), a third of blind and partially sighted people said they had been injured by pavement clutter.
The ban which will be imposed later this year will be implemented alongside council's other initiatives to reduce street clutter like signage, bollards and bins, in connection with new Edinburgh Street Design Guidance information and a wayfinding strategy.
City of Edinburgh Council transport and environment convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes, said: “This ban, which has received broad cross-party support, is the right move toward creating accessible, good quality public spaces in Edinburg. Reducing street clutter is essential to opening up our streets for all members of society, providing safe, welcoming walkways and removing obstructions, and the ban of temporary on-street advertising structures will make a real difference.”
RNIB chair Sandra Wilson, added: "We very much welcome this move to make the capital's streets safer and more inclusive for all residents and visitors with disabilities.
“It's something our RNIB Street Charter has been pressing for throughout the country. While we want businesses to prosper, our streets should not be an obstacle course to be negotiated. Some felt so intimidated they ended up staying isolated in their homes. This is surely unacceptable.”
Robin Wickes, vice chair of the Edinburgh Access Panel, also added: “For wheelchair users and vision impaired people in particular navigating our streets is a real challenge, especially since many of our pavements are narrow and busy with visitors.
“Banning A-boards will remove a major barrier and help disabled people enjoy equality of access to Edinburgh's streets and pavements.”