POLICY FOR REMOVAL OF OBSTRUCTIONS FROM PAVEMENTS AND PEDESTRIANISED AREAS

Displays of goods, advertising signs, tables and chairs and other similar items placed on footways and pedestrianised areas outside business premises can add to the sense of life and vitality in the County Borough’s streets. However, they can also interfere with public passage along a pavement or pedestrianised area, and cause a hazard, particularly for disabled and visually impaired people. In some circumstances they can put pedestrians at risk by forcing them off the footway onto the road. The Council wishes to control the placing of items on footways and pedestrianised areas in an even handed and consistent manner, recognising the potential conflict between pedestrians and traders, but always putting first the safety and amenity of pedestrians.

The Council is empowered to licence Street Cafes, which are therefore the subject of a separate policy. 

To contribute to Corporate and Community Plan Aims of promoting community safety and developing vibrant town centres, whilst maintaining ease of access for all sectors of the community, the Council will, within its powers under the Highways Act 1980:-

  • Remove or arrange to have removed as expeditiously as possible any sign or advertising board put out on a pavement or pedestrianised area if the owner or other responsible person has failed to act upon both a verbal and a written notice for removal.
  • Remove or arrange to have removed as expeditiously as possible any display of goods, or any other item on a pavement or pedestrianised area, if the owner or other responsible person has failed to act upon both a verbal and a written notice for removal when :
  • a display of goods extends more than 1.0 metre out from the shop frontage and to any extent sideways beyond the width of the shop frontage.
  • a display of goods has not been provided with barriers at its ends to provide clear demarcation for pedestrians. Such barriers must be 1 metre high and be either continuous to the ground or have a lower tap rail within 0.25 metre of ground level.
  • on a pavement there is no longer a minimum width of passage for pedestrians of 2.0 metres. In respect of displays of goods outside shops this would be determined after making allowance for the space taken by customers viewing or purchasing goods.
  • on a pavement pedestrians are forced into the road, either directly or because of the number of pedestrians.
  • there is interference with the visibility of motorists or pedestrians.
  • in a pedestrianised area, there is insufficient remaining width for the unimpeded passage of pedestrians and, in any case, less than 4.0 metres for the passage of emergency and other authorised vehicles.

In other cases where complaints are received, the facts will be considered and a decision will be taken as to whether or not action is required.

  • Remove or arrange to have removed as expeditiously as possible any unlicensed street cafes, irrespective of the local circumstances, if the owner or other responsible person has failed to act upon both a verbal and a written notice for removal.
  • Impose charges, to be reviewed periodically, to cover the costs of removal of items deposited on pavements or pedestrianised areas. Items removed will be taken to an appropriate depot to await collection by the owner or their representative and will not be released until the Council has been appropriately reimbursed. 
  • Dispose of for scrap any items not claimed within two months.
  • Initiate legal proceedings against persons who repeatedly and persistently place items on pavements or pedestrianised areas which require action to be taken for their removal.
  • Publish guidelines showing how this enforcement action will be undertaken. The guidelines will be periodically reviewed in consultation with relevant organisations, including the emergency services and those representing business interests and disabled people.

This policy has cross-cutting themes which complement Corporate Objectives for:-

  • Environment
  • Economic Prosperity
  • Community Safety

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Last Updated: 03.11.2008 at 12:52

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