A PILOT scheme is being launched in a bid to solve problems with A-board advertising in the city centre.
Cheshire West and Chester Council will enforce new guidelines from January 1 next year following a surge in complaints from pedestrians.
A-boards placed outside businesses are ‘creating an obstacle course’ for shoppers, the authority says, and in particular for blind or visually impaired people and those with buggies and prams.
Cllr Lynn Riley said: “A-boards are classed as an illegal obstruction on the highway and can be hazardous for visitors to the city.
“However, the authority recognises the current difficult trading conditions that businesses are facing and for this reason – after consultation – instead of adopting a zero-tolerance stance has worked hard to try to find a solution which all parties can work with and take forward.
“We hope the new guidelines will prove to be a successful compromise to this ongoing issue and that the city’s traders work with us to ensure that further action in the future is not necessary.”
Chester City management chairman David Pickering said: “We have been working for some time on a solution to the A-board problem in our streets and are pleased that CWAC has taken notice of the comments of our retailers in these tough trading conditions.
“The new proposal is a good solution and I hope that retailers work with the authority to make this pilot a success.”
A Chester Accessibility Action Group spokesman said: “We support the new guidelines for business signs on footways in Chester. They will protect the health and safety of visitors and shoppers, which include disabled people.”
The new pilot guidelines and additional information will be available at www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk from January 1.