Caf? owner ordered to pay more than £600 for illegal roadside signs

Fri, 18 Oct 2019

A café owner has been ordered to pay more than £600 for placing illegal advertising signs on the roadside near Snaith.

Carron Vincent, of the Old Station House Café, off Pontefract Road, Snaith, was found guilty of displaying signs on the highway without the permission of the highway authority, East Riding of Yorkshire Council.

Miss Vincent did not attend the hearing at Beverley Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 15 October, but she was fined £300, ordered to pay £318.99 costs and a victim surcharge of £30.

The court heard that, following a complaint from a member of the public in March this year, a streetscene enforcement officer from East Riding of Yorkshire Council went to investigate some signs that had been placed at a junction on Pontefract Road, Snaith.

The officer found there were a number of metal signs advertising the Old Station House Café, including two fixed to a road sign at the junction, three more free-standing signs on the grass verge, together with a number of painted tyres.

The officer requested the café to remove the signs as they were illegal, but when he returned later the same month the signs were still there.

Despite a further written request to the cafe, the signs remained. So in April the officer removed the signs and issued the café with a fixed penalty notice for erecting illegal advertising signs. This went unpaid.

Following a further complaint in June, the officer returned to find the business had placed more signs on the junction. These were removed immediately, and the case was taken to court.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council wants to remind businesses and residents that placing any sign on highways land without the council’s permission is a criminal offence under the Highways Act 1980.

The council is able to offer advice on appropriate signs for business taking into account highway safety. Enforcement action is however necessary where requests to remove signs are ignored.

Unauthorised advertising next to roads can be an obstruction, nuisance or danger to motorists, and may even contribute to road accidents due to distraction.

The council can issue a £150 fixed penalty notice for each illegal sign or poster.

If a case is heard in court anyone found guilty of fly-posting could be fined up to £2,500.

The council may also remove all signs and the costs can be recovered from the person responsible.

Paul Tripp, head of streetscene services at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “We will act to investigate any signs put up on the highway without permission as they could be a hazard to motorists.”

Advertising signs can be placed on private land with the agreement of the land owner but may be subject to planning restrictions. Advice can be given by the council’s planning department.

For more information on fly-posting, or to report an offence, visit the council’s website www.eastriding.gov.uk and search for ‘fly-posting’.

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