Crackdown makes streets safer
A crackdown by West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC) on pavement display boards positioned illegally has made Witney's streets safer for anyone using them.
Following a 48 hour "final warning" earlier this week to 23 businesses that were displaying A boards illegally, the Council's Environmental Enforcement Team today, Friday 2nd November, seized from three premises six boards that had still not been either removed or re-located to an appropriate position
"Boards in the wrong place on the pavement are a nuisance and can be a significant safety risk to people with poor eyesight," says Cllr David Harvey, West Oxfordshire District Council's Cabinet Member for the Environment.
"What is more they make it harder for people with prams, pushchairs or in wheelchairs to get about and can be a road safety hazard by distracting passing motorists."
"In the last year we have briefed local shops and businesses about our protocol on these boards and our legal powers to remove them for public safety reasons as necessary."
"The vast majority of retailers and businesses have acted responsibly and the crackdown has simply targeted those who have refused to comply, even after repeated warnings."
Under Section 149 of the Highways Act 1980, the Council has the power to remove anything deposited illegally on the pavement or highway and which is considered to be a nuisance or a danger.
Last year Witney Chamber of Trade and Commerce was informed of the Council's protocol and 200 local businesses were sent letters putting them in the picture individually.
The firms who have had boards seized have 28 days to reclaim them in return for £80 to £110 according to board size. Unclaimed boards will be destroyed while firms displaying A boards illegally again could be prosecuted.
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