Proposed guidance for obstructions

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Northumberland County Council has produced proposed guidance for enforcing unauthorised obstructions on highways.

It comes after the authority was approached by the Royal National Institute of Blind People and the Northumberland Low Vision Action Group.

Both organisations raised concerns about street clutter and the effect is has on the ability of visually-impaired people to live independent lives.

The council says that it is committed to supporting and working with local businesses to grow the local economy and understands how important the use of sandwich boards and A-boards are to attract trade.

However, it says that is also has a responsibility to ensure the public can use the streets and footways within the area safely and without obstruction.

The authority is proposing that, rather than authorising items such as A-boards and goods displays, it will prioritise enforcement of unauthorised obstructions on the highway.

The council has created proposed guidance which will be used to determine whether unauthorised obstructions present a danger or potential danger to highway users.

The guidance allows for a flexible approach taking into account the nature of the footway and pedestrian flows, among other things.

Views are being sought about the proposed guidance. For information, email HNS@northumberland.gov.uk