Pub’s anger over “stupid” A-board ban

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Fury: the Three Tuns are not happy about the A-board ban
Fury: the Three Tuns are not happy about the A-board ban

Related tags Small businesses Small business City New york city

A York pub has expressed its anger over the city council’s plan to ban A-boards in the area from next year.

The Three Tuns in Coppergate has described the proposal, which will be trialed for a year from 1 February 2017, as “stupid” and has written an open letter to York City Council on their Facebook page.

The pub said: “I would like to ask our esteemed council if they have a clue as to what they are doing to the city’s small businesses?

“We have just had a notification of a ban on advertising businesses with A-frames (notification via the local paper, not the council), imposed without fair consultation with the businesses that use them or even fair consultation with the general public.


“I think we all agree that there are problems with A-frames throughout the city, but a ban is stupid, especially as it doesn’t extend city wide and even has an exception within the ban for Micklegate.”

The post continues by explaining how Micklegate, one of the streets in the city, has been made exempt from the ban as it is recognised that A-boards are useful in encouraging sales and this particular street has wider pavements, which the Three Tuns says is “ridiculous”.

The pub goes on to ask if the council would prefer more flyers, bikes with signs, people holding signs on poles and if they want to see small businesses “go bust” as they can’t be seen by passing trade. It also asks if the local authority thinks that by removing A-boards, access for people with disabilities and the elderly will be improved.

It states that if the answer to the above is 'yes' then the ban is a “well considered tool”, however the pub adds that if the council wants the city to be vibrant, with small businesses holding their own against national retailers and giving residents a variety of artisan and niche products, quirkiness and employment, then the plan is ill conceived.

Working together

The post concludes: “It would be nice to think that we could work together on a plan to solve the A-frame problem as I’m sure there are solutions that would suit everybody and enhance the city centre experience, rather than have a number of businesses driven to the brink of failure, or worse, replaced by yet more bars and coffee shops, which the council planners seem to like approving.

"I’m sure the council will take no notice of this letter, but who knows, it might stimulate some conversation between all concerned parties. Yours sincerely, a local business owner.”

To see the full post, click here​.

Executive member for transport and planning at York City Council, Ian Gillies said: “This has been a long-standing issue here in York so I welcome this trial. We need to balance the impact of A-boards on the public with the livelihood of small businesses. We also need to ensure support is provided to help find alternative methods of advertising, and that all relevant bodies continue to be consulted throughout this trial.”

The council have said that a number of alternatives to using the A-boards will be suggested to businesses in the area, including new city-approved boards or shared boards which will be wall or building mounted.

Following on from the trial, the council will carry out a full analysis and produce a report which will be brought in front of the planning executive in 2018.

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