Sandwich Boards

By: A.C.

Edinburgh are finally doing something about the prolific amount of A Frame, or Sandwich advertising Boards that sit on pavements and obstruct the footway.

Aberdeen had for decades a bye–law under the old Aberdeen Corporation Bye laws which dated from the dim and distant past and forbade shopkeepers putting ‘sandwich’ or A frame boards on the pavement outside their shops. The reason was simple to the City Fathers who brought in this bye-law; people with impaired sight, mothers with prams, folk in wheelchairs, or the walking disabled found it very difficult to just skip around them. They force pavement users onto the road, where danger lurked from what was less traffic then.

Nowadays there are probably more videos at You Tube of those people on auto pilot using their phones, who fall over them or other street furniture. These sandwich boards are not a laughing matter for the sight–impaired or disabled community who are forced to get around them, or simply find them a hazard that needs removing.

In trying to find the local bye–laws or policy on this matter I think this Press and Journal article reports without comment, and does very well in simply showing how blinkered shopkeepers can be in this area of sandwich boards on the pavement. In the P&J reporting, Politicians, as usual, possibly find that they have a memory lapse when it comes to their support of the disabled, sight –impaired or mother & buggies.

The quoted Act by the Council in this article, used to remove the outraged shopkeepers A Frame board on Belmont Street, is the Roads ( Scotland) Act 1984 section 87 which states:

Power to remove structures from roads.

(1)Without prejudice to sections 59 and 129(2) of this Act, where a structure has been erected, deposited or placed on a road otherwise than under or by virtue of an enactment the roads authority may, by notice, require that within such period as may be specified in the notice the person having control or possession of the structure—

(a)shall remove it; and

(b)if the authority consider reinstatement of the road to be requisite, shall carry out such reinstatement.

(2)In subsection (1) above, “structure” includes any machine, pump, post or other object of such a nature as to be capable of causing obstruction; and a structure may be treated for the purposes of that subsection as having been erected notwithstanding that it is on wheels.

Some people may think that the pavement is not the Road. The pavement, along with other structures like bridges is defined thus: Road Traffic Act 1988, s 192(1) a ‘road’ means any highway to which the public has access. It also includes any bridges over which a road passes.

So how about removing vehicles that park on the pavement causing obstruction – causing bigger obstructions than A Boards?

 Politicians usually “back legislation” to stop this practice, so the disabled community think that someone supports their cause.

They have no need to back legislation though, as the City Wardens, or Police according to the legislation already have the power to move vehicles or penalise the driver, especially where yellow lines exist as they cover the “road” which as I have already shown above, applies to the pavement.

All it takes is a determined will to do the necessary. Then again maybe everybody in that position of being able to “do something” is just too busy, or manpower pressures reduce priorities. Maybe “real crime” takes the priority.

I would suggest that if a child, mother or disabled person gets injured or knocked down as a result of a pavement obstruction, the resulting workload is a lot more paperwork than tracing the driver, knocking on a door or penalising a repeat offender.

Taking action gets brownie points from our part of the community.

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