Bid to cut the clutter

STREET SCENE There are more than 60 A boards for pedestrians to negotiate in Dewsbury town centre.
STREET SCENE There are more than 60 A boards for pedestrians to negotiate in Dewsbury town centre.

A-boards and displays of stock in the street are cluttering up our town centre, Dewsbury Chamber of Trade heard.

Businessman George Carrigill said the number of items on the town’s pavements not only looked unsightly, but was also causing problems for disabled customers.

Mr Carrigill, who owns Carrigills bookmakers, said the area near his shop in Corporation Street was among the worst for A boards crowding the pavement.

“I would never restrict anyone from advertising their business in any shape or form, but these A boards now constitute a danger to the public,” he said. “We have a blind customer who bets with us and he says how difficult they make life for him.”

On Wednesday, the Reporter counted more than 60 A boards on pavements around the town centre.

Several shops also had displays outside their premises, ranging from boxes of groceries and catalogues to entire rails of clothes and even a bed.

Mr Carrigill said: “It’s all spilling out on the pavements.

“As more people see this, they think they can do it too.”

And Chamber of Trade members are not the only ones to have noticed the increase.

Kirklees Council officers are preparing a report for Cabinet members about what can be done to stop A boards and displays of stock reaching levels that make the town unattractive or difficult for shoppers to walk around.

Town centre manager Andrew Sloman said: “It’s an issue we’ve been acutely aware of and it’s something I know council officers have been looking at.

“It’s about getting the balance and ensuring retail businesses still have the opportunity to sell themselves.”

Nationally, the issue has been raised by Guide Dogs for the Blind through its Street Ahead campaign.

One of its aims is to inform local shopkeepers and councillors about the “unnecessary nuisance of A boards and other poorly positioned street furniture”.