Tuesday 20 August 2019

Traders face €630 bill to use sandwich boards on footpaths


Sandwich boards in Drumcondra. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Sandwich boards in Drumcondra. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

Seán McCárthaigh

Traders in Dublin city centre are facing an annual bill of €630 to use sandwich boards to promote their business.

Dublin City Council has confirmed it is introducing a new licensing system from September 1 to regulate the use of advertising boards on footpaths across the city and to counter the growing problem of street clutter.

Unlike other street furniture such as tables and chairs, which require a licence, the use of sandwich boards - otherwise known as an A-board - has largely been unregulated to date.

Any business displaying a sandwich board from September 1 will require a licence for the sign or risk having it removed by council officials.

Legislation already exists to allow council staff to seize and confiscate any unauthorised signs on public footpaths.

Sandwich boards are already banned on certain streets, including Grafton Street and O'Connell Street, because of the high level of pedestrian footfall or restricted width of their footpaths.

Council chief executive Owen Keegan has issued instructions that "zero tolerance" is to be shown to anyone using unauthorised street furniture.

The council hired four additional inspectors earlier this year to carry out increased enforcement of regulations.

It claimed the proliferation of street furniture had been brought into sharp focus during the Make Way Day in 2018 when it was noted that advertising boards were one of the biggest problems faced by people with mobility or sight disabilities.

The local authority has grown increasingly concerned at the proliferation of sandwich boards being used by pubs, restaurants, cafés and other shops because of the risk they pose to the public.

However, the Restaurants Association of Ireland has accused the council of going on an "anti-tourism rampage" over the issue of street furniture.

The Disability Federation of Ireland has welcomed the proposed licensing system.

Earlier this year, Dublin MEP Ciarán Cuffe said it was time to "declare war" on sandwich boards.

Irish Independent

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