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We have a policy to remove unauthorised signs or other marks on the highway and those attached to items of street furniture in accordance with Section 132 of the Highways Act

Judgement is used with displays outside local shops, as well as with local fetes and charitable events. But if there is an obstruction that could be hazardous to pedestrians, or alters visibility for motorists, it will be removed.

When is a sign illegal?

Signs are deemed to be illegal if they are erected without lawful authority or excuse. Offenders are liable, upon conviction, to a fine not exceeding £1,000.

Unauthorised signs other items outside shops

Under Section 137 of the Highways Act 1980 any interference with public passage is an illegal obstruction of the highway. Action will be taken to remove unauthorised signs and other items when a footway or pedestrian area is obstructed to the extent that:

  • Pedestrians are inconvenienced.

  • They extend more than 450mm from the shop frontage.

  • They interfere with the visibility or motorists.

  • Pedestrians are forced into the road, either directly or because of the number of pedestrians

  • There is a significant hazard to pedestrians.

Each source of complaint will be investigated by an officer from our Street Maintenance Section who will assess the extent of the obstruction and decide upon what course of action, if any, is required.

Other unauthorised signs and posters

Generally, all other unauthorised signs and posters situated within the highway will be removed.

Signs that are removed are stored for 14 days and are available for collection on payment of the appropriate fee. Persistent offenders will be prosecuted.

Report an illegal sign

If you see any signs which have been illegally attached to street furniture such as lamp columns or street railings, please report them to us.

If possible it is useful to get the registration number of any vehicles being used.