West Cumbrian traders fear effect of A-board ruling
Last updated at 12:23, Friday, 24 August 2012
Cockermouth traders claim that new A-board restrictions will hurt their businesses.
A licensing scheme for the advertising boards is being introduced by Cumbria County Council.
Shops on pavements that are too narrow, such as Station Street, will not be allowed to erect them.
Businesses in alleyways, like the town’s Old Kings Arms Lane, will have to use a combined board for advertising purposes.
Alison Lucock, owner of County Fruit Stores, on Station Street, said: “We won’t be very happy and it will definitely affect business.
“People will just think we are closed if we can’t put our board out.”
Sheila Rayment, manager of the Silver Beaded Needle, in Old Kings Arms Lane, said: “If it is just one small board it is not going to work at all.
“We need our board to bring people down here or we would have to close our doors.”
Annabel Bergius, assistant manager at 17 Again, on Station Street, said: “The boards bring people in as some people think we are just a gift shop so they are vital for our footfall.
“We are opposed to the scheme because we rely on the boards for advertising as we are not able to have tables and chairs outside.
“If they were taken away it would really affect how many people would come in here on a daily basis.”
Jonty Chippendale, acting chairman of the town’s chamber of trade, said: “Trade is difficult enough and we don’t need anything that works against the shops and cafes in the town as it will only lead to boarded-up high streets.
“Regulation has become necessary, but you cannot have a one-size-fits-all for Cockermouth, where common sense and tradition has worked well for many years.
“I understand why they are doing it but we have plenty of alleyways and narrow pavements so the approach has to be tailored to the particular needs of the town.”
Traders with existing items must get permission from the county council by writing to Cumbria Highways.
The scheme was implemented in Keswick during the summer and is due to be rolled out in Cockermouth over the next six to 12 months. The licence is free and valid for a year.
Eric Nicholson, county councillor for Cockermouth, said: “It is something we have to do and we appreciate there are economic concerns which is why there is no charge for the licence.
“We are not putting massive pressure on the businesses and we will do all we can to help them through this process because we don’t want anybody losing trade from this.
“The amount of A-boards in Cockermouth has been a bone of contention for a few years as they have become prolific, and there is no doubt they need to be brought under control.”
First published at 11:52, Friday, 24 August 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
Have your say
I own a shop at the bottom end of main street (which doesnt have an a-board)and I agree that there should be something done about the situation. I look up the street from my shop and all you see is a clutter of aboards how much trade they actually bring in is doubtful I manage quite successfully without one and I don't have the risk of anyone tripping up over them.
While i do agree that some shops would suffer from not being able to place A boards outside there shops, i do feel some shops are making a mockery of having display boards outside there shops.The one shop (formally Mills) on Mian Street, has no less than four display items ouside.A news and Star, a Lottery sign, a offer board with food items on, and a giant COSTA COFFEE CUP.It is shops like this that spoil it for smaller shops.Make is so they can only have a maximum of two, that way everyone gets treated the same.
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