100,000s of pedestrians to benefit as City of London agrees to clear its pavements of advertising boards

100,000s of pedestrians to benefit as City of London agrees to clear its pavements of advertising boards

30 October 2018

London's transport watchdog hailed a major victory today in its campaign to cut out pavement advertising clutter.

The City of London today announced plans to clear unnecessary advertising boards and other obstacles, which are a hazard for many disabled and partially sighted people.

London TravelWatch has pressed the City of London and other authorities to enforce the rules, and today's announcement marks an important milestone in the campaign.

Arthur Leathley, Chair of London TravelWatch welcomed the news: ‘This is good news. London TravelWatch has been working to persuade local councils to keep their pavements clear of advertising boards and other unlawful obstructions for a number of years. We know a clear pavement is really important to pedestrians, particularly people with a disability. But it is a low level of nuisance for most people and so has been ignored for too long. This decision by the City of London will benefit 100,000s of residents, visitors and workers who will now have a clear pavement to walk on.’

Arthur continued: ‘Though local highway authorities have a duty to keep their pavements clear of unlawful obstructions and the powers to do so, very few do this properly. Transport for London (TfL) has been targeting a limited number of streets with obstructions, but this is now a policy in the Mayor’s Transport Strategy. And so we will now redouble our efforts to persuade TfL and other councils to follow the City of London and clear their pavements of unlawful obstructions.'

Karishma Shah, RNIB Regional Campaigns Officer for London also welcomed the move by the City of London to clear its pavements of highway obstructions: ‘This is great news for us. Advertising boards on the pavement may just be a nuisance for those who have sight, but they are a trip hazard for people with vision impairment so the removal of them is to be welcomed.’

Further information

  • London TravelWatch is the operating name for the London Transport Users Committee. We are the official watchdog representing the interests of transport users in and around London, and independent of the transport operators and government. London TravelWatch is sponsored and funded by the London Assembly, part of the Greater London Authority.
  • London TravelWatch’s report, Inclusive Streets highlights the problems disabled users of London’s streets have with obstacles on the pavement and describes the duty that local highways authorities have to keep their pavements clear of obstructions.
  • Only a few local authorities keep their pavements clear as they should do. The map on this page shows how each borough rates for accessible streets. Green - streets are clear of pavement obstructions; Yellow - some streets are clear of pavement obstructions (targeting is undertaken); Pink - streets have pavement obstructions, but they are located next to buildings in response to limited enforcement; Red - streets have many pavement obstructions on them.TfL would be rated as amber.
  • Follow London TravelWatch on Twitter and You Tube.
  • For more information, please contact the London TravelWatch press office on 020 3176 5941 or 07734 055494.
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