Obstructed Footways and Pavements

The Accessibility Committee carried out a series of walkabouts around the town to assess how accessible the town is for wheelchair users.  The number of A-boards and other obstructions on certain streets was quite apparent.  A-boards by their very nature obstruct pedestrians from being able to move in a straight line along the pavement.  They present a trip hazard, especially to people who cannot see them and who use mobility aids.  A letter has been sent to remind all business owners of the legislation.

Footways should be kept clear of obstruction, however A-boards and street cafes are permitted where certain conditions are met.  The information below has been provided by Cumbria County Council.

Cumbria County Council maintains the following criteria for those businesses that wish to place an A-board on the footway:

  • Only one obstruction per premises (e.g. one A-board is permitted even in the event of multi-occupation)
  • There must be a footway width of 2 metres between the sign and the kerb.  1.5 metre would be regarded as the minimum in most circumstances.
  • The sign must abut the frontage of the business
  • Any advertisement must relate only to the normal business of the trading establishment
  • The sign must not impede vehicular emergency access
  • The owner must have Public Liability Insurance to cover the A board to the minimum value of £5 million pounds
  • Boards must not be attached to street furniture, lighting columns, trees or other items within the highway
  • Rotating signs will not be permitted
  • Bus stop / taxi ranks, etc must not be hindered
  • Signs should be no wider than 800mm square in plan and no higher than 1 metre above ground level
  • Signs should be presented in a legal, decent and attractive manner in accordance with UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (CAP Code)

With regards, Street cafes – much of the same applies with the additional conditions:

  • The equipment/furniture shall be of such good quality and design and kept in good repair and condition.
  • No fixtures of excavations of any kind or damage to the surface of the highways which shall be left entirely undisturbed
  • The facility must be protected by barriers or other means of enclosure, primarily to guide the visually impaired. Such barriers need to be not less than 800mm high with no more than 150mm between the base rail and the ground. Distinguishing markings should be included to aid the partially sighted.
  • All barriers, equipment and furniture must be removed from the highway when the facility is closed. No items of equipment may be stored, out of use, on the highway.