Plans for light-up advertising boards at accident hotspot rejected

Advertising board great yarmouth

The government planning inspectorate rejected the plans on public safety grounds - Credit: Google

An advertising agency hoping to turn its static displays into digital ones has had its plans dismissed by a government inspectorate on public safety grounds.

Wyse Media UK, based in Jedburgh, Scotland, appealed against Great Yarmouth Borough Council's decision last August to refuse the installation of two light-up advertising boards at the junction between Southtown Road and Pasteur Road/Bridge Road.

The government planning inspectorate rejected the plans on public safety grounds

The government planning inspectorate rejected the plans on public safety grounds - Credit: Google

The applicant said the digital boards, which would have changed slide every ten seconds, did not represent a significant change from the paste-and-paper boards already at the junction - and would actually add a more modern and "contemporary" look to the area.

He argued that while the boards would be seen by traffic approaching from both directions on Pasteur Road, the road network is not "cognitively demanding" for drivers, with no "unusual complexities" for them to navigate.

The council, however, disagreed, and rejected the plans on August 6, 2020, on the basis the boards would distract highway users and have a harmful effect on the street scene and nearby properties.

A government inspector upheld the council's decision and dismissed the Wyse Media's appeal on February 16, 2021 - citing concerns of public safety and the amenity of the area.

During a site visit on January 19, the inspector said the road was "well-trafficked" - even in a national lockdown - and concluded it could only get busier in a time when coronavirus travel restrictions do not apply.

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They said: "The boards will be in a highly prominent position on the junction approach at a point where vehicles on the carriageway would be slowing down as traffic signals change or when entering the filter lanes."

A car smashed into a traffic light in Bridge Road, Great Yarmouth on Thursday morning. Picture: Subm

A car after it smashed into a traffic light in Bridge Road, Great Yarmouth - Credit: Archant

They added distraction from the boards in an area where drivers "already needed to take a lot of care" could result in them "failing to adhere to traffic signals" and potentially cause collisions.

In terms of the ten-second display change proving a nuisance to residents, the inspectorate accepted the council's view that constant illumination from the boards would prove disruptive, especially at night.

Bridge Road has been the site of numerous collisions in recent years. In August last year, a collision between a Renault Clio and a police Ford Focus resulted in heavy tailbacks while the scene was cleared and made safe

A collision between a car and police vehicle along Bridge Road in Great Yarmouth. Photo: Allan Hudso

A collision between a car and police vehicle along Bridge Road in Great Yarmouth. Photo: Allan Hudson - Credit: Archant

A collision between a car and police vehicle along Bridge Road in Great Yarmouth. Photo: Sarah Burge

A collision between a car and police vehicle along Bridge Road in Great Yarmouth saw the road closed off for hours - Credit: Archant