Pedal power bid to beat ban on illegal ad signs

A ST Ives shop owner, furious after her advertising signs were removed by Cambridgeshire County Council, has found a novel way to promote her business. Corinne Sellens, owner of Rina Roo in East Street, was forced to pay £40 to reclaim two of her signs af

A ST Ives shop owner, furious after her advertising signs were removed by Cambridgeshire County Council, has found a novel way to promote her business.

Corinne Sellens, owner of Rina Roo in East Street, was forced to pay £40 to reclaim two of her signs after they were removed by the county council.

The signs, which were by White Hart Court and Cow & Hare Passage, were placed "illegally" and were removed.

But business owners claim the signs are necessary to promote their shops and services and keep their businesses viable.

Mrs Sellens, who opened her gift shop in December, has now found another way to promote Rina Roo - by using bikes to advertise.

The bikes, complete with advertising signs, are left at different locations around the town centre.

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She said: "We have been told by the council that we are not allowed to put our signs out, as it is on council land.

"It makes me really angry, as the council is always saying it is trying to support businesses but this is not helping.

"The signs are on council land but they are essential to our business as we are tucked away and the only way to attract customers is to put our signs on the land."

Anthony Webster, owner of Lucid Hairdressers in St Ives, has also had the council try to remove his signs.

"They have tried to take my signs away three times but I won't let them," he said. "On one occasion I ran after the lorry which had my sign in and took it out again."

A spokesman for the council said: "It is illegal to put signs on highways and footpaths and it has been for some time.

"We are always removing illegal signs, but recently the Government sent out letters to all councils asking them to crack down on them.

"We have had numerous complaints from motorists who are distracted by signs on the highways, and from people who trip over them on the footpaths.

"While we want to support local businesses, we need to uphold the law at the same time. I recommend that business owners wanting to find out more should contact Huntingdonshire District Council planning department."

The 1980 Highways Act states signs fixed to a tree or structure, or A-boards in urban areas which interfere with the safe movement of road users will be removed without notice.

INFORMATION: To find out more visit the roads and signs section of Cambridgeshire County Council website at www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk

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