Strict new regulations on A-boards in Norwich city centre to come into force next month
- Credit: Steve Adams
From next month city centre businesses who use A-boards must be insured for up to £5m for public liability under new regulations.
In September 2016 Norwich City Council approved new restrictions on A-boards after what they called a 'proliferation' across the city.
And last week businesses across the city were sent letters informing them the regulations will be coming into force in August.
They will limit the number of A-boards any business can put out, while attempting to ensure they are not in a hazardous position.
A survey by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has previously revealed particular areas of concern included Gentleman's Walk, Norwich Market, Guildhall Hill, the Norwich Lanes and London Street.
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And, in 2015, the Norwich Society said the number, size and positioning of A-boards were 'cluttering' Norwich's 'fine city' status.
City council officers will be patrolling the streets to enforce the policy, which stipulate each business can only have one A-board per frontage and a 1.2m width on the pavement for pedestrians to pass.
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The letter sent to affected businesses over recent days reads: 'The key aim of the policy is to address the challenging issues presented by the proliferation of A-boards across the city while recognising them as valuable advertising tools for businesses.'
But during last year's consultation, market traders expressed their concern about the plans.
Michael Smith, of Banger Stop in Norwich Market, said: 'We need to be supported by the council, not restricted. The whole market is so entrapped by new rules and regulations it leads to more empty stalls.'
Steve Prentice, of Norwich Providore, said: 'There is a real problem getting people in to the market and this won't help.'
A spokeswoman for Norwich City Council said: Business owners in Norwich were recently sent a letter to let them know that one month on from receiving the letter officers will begin monitoring 'A' boards as part of their daily duties.
'As such, any that don't conform to the policy will be reported to the city council's streetworks team and measured against the policy.'
For more information about the policy visit www.norwich.gov.uk/aboards