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A-Board & Pavement Signs Policy by County Councils

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  • 10th June 2013

A-boards are used widely by many businesses to highlight their establishment and to generate business. The A-boards are typically placed on the roadway in front of the business. Many county and city councils provide guidelines for the regulation of the A-boards to enhance the attractiveness and order of their communities.

Assigns has compiled a handy quick reference list of County Council’s A-Board policies. We will keep adding to this list as and when we uncover new published policies.

A-Board & Pavement Sign Council Policy

Shropshire A-Board policy

The A-board policy for Shropshire County attempts to provide an overall approach to regulating the A-boards with some discretion allowed for certain circumstances. The policy specifies the following:

• The board should pertain to the trade of the business or facility.
• The board should not be an obstruction, hazard or nuisance to the surrounding area.
• Should be placed in the front of the establishment and be kept in good shape.
• Two boards (advanced and notification) are allowed per premise.
• Boards determined to be a nuisance or hazard will be removed by the Council.
• Liability insurance in the amount of £5million is required.

Bristol A-Board policy

A-boards policy for Bristol includes the following guidelines and applies to boards on the public right-of-way:
• A-boards should be within 60 cm of the front of the business with at least 1.8 metres of clear space between the board and the road.
• A-boards should be a maximum of 1.1 metres high and of the standard A1 size.
• Promotional signs are discouraged in favour of informational signs.
• Boards must be temporary in nature but stable enough to not get blown over. They should not be fixed to bollards or street furniture.
• Boards should relate to the business of the establishment.
• Boards should not be a hazard to drivers due to obstructions, glare or other distractions.

Nottingham A-Board policy

A-board guidelines in the City of Nottingham have recently been updated. Businesses that have A-boards must follow these guidelines:

• Boards must be the standard A1 size (637x1100x800 mm).
• Businesses may have only one A-board per premise.
• Boards should not cause a visual obstruction to drivers or to pedestrians.
• Boards should allow at least two metres of unobstructed space around the board.
• The A-board should be placed in front of the business.

Lichfield A-Board policy

Lichfield has an A-boards Code of Practice that regulates A-boards and other retail displays to provide a standard to maintain the attractiveness and order in the business district. The guidelines are:

• A-boards should be placed in front of the building within one metre of the building or up against the building.
• One A-board is allowed per business but an additional board is allowed if the establishment has a public access point more than one street.
• A-boards should have quality design and materials that complement the establishment. The size should typically be approximately 60 cm wide and one metre tall.
• A-boards should not obscure road signage that includes crossings, road bends, junctions or other access points.
• Owners of A-boards are required to have at minimum £5 million in liability insurance.
• A-boards should not be attached to street furniture or other structures on the roadway.

Liverpool A-Board policy

The City of Liverpool regulates the placement and usage of A-boards through implementation of the following guidelines:

• A-boards should be a maximum of 1.1 metres high and the standard A1 size.
• No rotating, swinging, illuminated, powered boards or boards amplified with speakers are allowed.
• Only one A-board per establishment
• A-boards affixed to street furniture, the footway, or boards that are not easily removable by hand are not allowed.
• A-boards should not be an obstacle to pedestrians or motor vehicles.

Middlesbrough A-Board policy

The A-boards guidance provided by Middlesbrough is designed to maintain the ambiance of the town and provide standards for each business that utilizes A-boards on public highways. The guidelines specify that:

• A-boards should not exceed 800 mm square in plan view and should not be positioned no higher than 1200mm above ground level.
• A-boards should be clear of the main pedestrian walkways and provide a 2 metre-wide route. More than 2 metres may be required in areas where there is substantial pedestrian traffic. In non-pedestrian areas, 1.2 metres width is the minimum.
• A-boards should be temporary and designed to be easily moved. They should be removed at the end of each business day.
• A-boards that rotate or swing are not permitted.
• They should not be attached to the roadway, bollards, posts, benches, street furniture or highway signage.
• Businesses are allowed a maximum of 2 A-boards per establishment even if there are multiple tenants.
• A-boards must present the merchandise or services of the establishment and must be done in a professional manner.
• A-boards should not cause damage to the walkway or be located within 2 metres of tactile paving.
• A-boards should not be an obstruction to the visually impaired, mobility handicapped or cause obstructions for motorists.

Wirral A-Board policy

The Wirral Council regulates A-boards for communities within the borough through the following guidelines:

• Consent must be granted by the Council to place A-boards on highways.
• A-boards must allow a minimum of 2 metres space for public walkway. In busy areas, the minimum is 2.5 metres and an additional one metre is added at pedestrian crossing points.
• A-boards may not be permitted in areas where there is roadside advertising already allowed.
• A-boards must be located near the business and remote sites will not be permitted.

Staffordshire A-Board policy

Guidelines for the placement of A-boards in Staffordshire are outlined in the document entitled “Management of Commercial Obstructions Policy.” They include the following:

• A licence will be issued for the period of 12 months permitting the display of A-boards.
• The A-board should be placed in front of the establishment. However, a portion of the board can be used to direct customers to separately owned businesses that are in a remote location from the A-board such as on a side street.
• A-boards may not be used in areas where a hanging sign might be more effective.
• A-boards should not hinder emergency services or be an impediment to fire evacuation routes.
• Only one A-board per premises. One A-board per street is allowed for businesses with entrances from more than one street.
• In premises with multiple occupants, one composite A-board is allowed that can advertise for the multiple businesses.
• The size of the A-board should be no more than 0.6 metres wide and 1.0 metres tall.
• The location of the A-board should be within the frontage of the building.
• A-boards should be made of quality material and stable enough to not blow over.
• A-boards should not be secured to street furniture or any structure on the roadway.
• Spacing between the A-board and other street furniture or trees should be at a minimum of 2 metres. There should be at least 0.7 metres of clearance between the building façade and the highway. For areas with heavy pedestrian traffic, the District Council may determine that more space is required.
• The A-board should not obscure visibility for drivers or for pedestrians.
• Liability insurance in the amount of two million pounds is required to protect against any claims that arise from the use of an A-board.

Swindon A-Board policy

The Town of Swindon has established an A-boards policy to reduce clutter in the town centre, to encourage shoppers and support the businesses. The policy has the following guidelines:

• A-boards should be no higher than 1.25 metres and no wider than 660 mm.
• A-boards should not be an obstruction for motorists or an impediment to pedestrians especially those with impairments, disabilities or are in push chairs.
• No political or offensive statements are allowed on the A-board.
• A-boards should be temporary and not affixed to the highway, lamp posts, bollards, seats or street furniture.
• A-boards must be removed when the business is closed, when street cleaning or repair is underway or when severe weather is imminent or occurring.
• The boards must be self-weighted as sand bags for stabilization is not permitted. Swinging or rotating signs are not allowed.

Wolverhampton A-Board policy

The City of Wolverhampton views anything placed on the highway as an obstruction but has established the A-boards policy as way to provide businesses with standards that they can implement to allow A-boards usage. The guidelines indicate that:

• A-boards should provide at least 1.5 metres of clearance and should not be placed against the build line of the building.
• A-boards should be located in front of the place of business but in situations where there is no visible business frontage, the A-board can be placed elsewhere as a directional sign. Businesses should submit a plan showing the placement location, nearest carriageway and any obstructions.
• Businesses will be allowed only one A-board.
• The A-board should be a maximum of 1.25 metres high and 0.66 metres wide.
• The A-board should be free-standing and not attached to the highway, street furniture or other structures.
• The A-board should not be placed on the highway before 0800 hours and should be removed when the business is closed.
• The A-board permit is subject to adjustment by the Wolverhampton Council at any time. The Council may provide guidance on A-board advertisements, logos and livery.
• Visibility to motorists and pedestrians should not be impaired by the placement of the A-board.
• The A-board permit holder is required to have a public liability insurance policy with a minimum amount of £5,000,000.

Leicester A-Board policy

The City of Leicester regulates the usage of A-boards through the following policy guidelines:

• A-boards should be freestanding and easily removed. However, they should be sturdy enough to not blow over.
• A-boards should be moved when the business is closed.
• A-boards should not be attached to the highway, columns, posts, bollards, trees, street furniture or other structures.
• At least 1.5 metres of unobstructed footway should be allowed between the board other structures such as bollards, litter bins, etc.
• Pedestrian and motorist sight lines should not be obstructed by the placement of the A-board.
• A-boards should not rotate, swing or have lighting attached to them.
• The placement of the A-board should be directly outside of the establishment or aligned with street furniture if the situation allows.
• Only one A-board is allowed per premise. Sites with multiple businesses will be allowed to share one A-board.
• The A1 size is the standard size for A-boards and they should be no higher from the ground than 1100 mm.
• The A-board owner is required to have a public liability insurance policy with a minimum amount of £5,000,000 to cover any claims.
• All A-boards that do not comply with the guidelines will be notified. If compliance does not, the board will be removed and disposed of after 28 days. Removal costs will be billed to the owner.


Assigns Point-of-Sale and Graphic Display Systems in both standard and customised formats and sizes. Our range of A-Boards are designed to enable retailers to get their products and services noticed on all levels, whatever the retail environment.


+Danny Chard

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