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Campaigners call for A-board ban on York's streets
ADVERTISING boards, bins and street cafes in York are making parts of the city no-go areas for people with impaired vision and should be banned from pavements, campaigners have said.
A-boards outside businesses are so common that many streets are almost impossible for blind people or people with limited mobility to navigate, York’s Blind and Partially Sighted Society has said.
It says action should be taken to make sure the city does not become totally inaccessible to some groups.
City of York Council is planning to set up a special body to look into the use of A-boards, and the society is urging it to take a strong stance.
Diane Roworth, chief officer of the Blind and Partially Sighted Society, said A-boards had been a problem for many years because businesses believed they attract customers, but they make life difficult for visually impaired or elderly people, and parents with pushchairs.
She said obstacles in the path of people who rely on a cane or a guide dog could mean they easily lose their bearings and get lost even on a familiar route.
“A guide dog will navigate their owner around an obstacle, but if there are a lot of obstacles the owner can soon get thrown off course and not know where they are.
“The pavements are getting more and more cluttered, but we don’t need A-boards when we can use shop windows, walls, and to an extent even overhead signage for advertising.”
Anne Smith is completely blind and uses a guide dog to get around in York.
She said many visually impaired people use the “building line” to get around, following the edge of buildings on streets they know, so even moving A-boards away from the buildings to make sure their path is not blocked would help.
Alistair Briggs, the council’s traffic network manager, said: “To represent all views and interests, a scrutiny committee is being set up to look into the matter of A-boards in the new year, to which interested groups will be invited.
“The committee will then report back with recommendations for a revision of the policy.”
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