Shop-owners in Tadcaster have expressed concern after North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) warned they could be fined £1,000 for using A-boards on the pavement to advertise their shops.
A number of retailers on the High Street in Tadcaster were told that the use of A-boards was illegal, in a letter from NYCC which they received on Saturday, June 6.
I cannot understand why it has been raised as an issue.David Stainthorpe, Owner at Cycle Sense, Tadcaster
The boards, which usually sit outside shops to advertise their offers and products, have been highlighted to shopkeepers as obstructions and therefore potential hazards to pedestrians.
David Stainthorpe, Manager at Cycle Sense, told the Wetherby News: “I cannot understand why it has been raised as an issue. You can’t always see what there is inside a shop, the boards tell people what the shop is and act as an indicator.
“If you go to any other market town or even other country, it is part of the culture and scenery to have quaint details like these.”
The letter reads: “It is an offence for a person, without lawful authority, to deposit anything on the highway to the interruption of the highway user. This offence attracts a maximum fine of £1,000.”
The letter explains to retailers that legal action will be taken if they do not comply and the boards are not moved.
Mr Stainthorpe said: “I highly doubt that people have complained about our use of the boards. We often receive compliments on our external appearance and we are one of the few businesses that bring people to the town from all over the country.”
Another business on the street, Rob’s Rolls, was also told by the council that the table and chairs it provides for customers outside the sandwich shop are an illegal obstruction.
Keen to appeal against this move by the county council, Mr Stainthorpe has contacted a number of councillors asking for their support and has had some success.
The leader of Selby Council Mark Crane has told David he can count on his support and any help he can offer after shop owners in Selby suffered a similar problem only a few years ago.
Coun Crane said: “A couple of years ago the NYCC started taking action against the boards in Selby. Shop owners here were also threatened with a fine but eventually common sense prevailed and as long as they aren’t a hindrance to pedestrians and passers-by they are permitted.”
NYCC said: “We are aware of local concerns about this issue and we will be engaging with the business community to discuss the problem further.”
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Owner of Cycle Sense, David Stainthorpe has been told there is a maximum fine of £1,000 if he uses an A-board (s).