Mayor fails to fend off roundabout advertising

Advertising sign on the Savages Wood Roundabout.

Bradley Stoke Mayor Brian Hopkinson has failed in his bid to prevent planning permission being granted for the installation of advertising signs on some of the town’s roundabouts.

Under its Income Maximisation project, South Gloucestershire Council (SGC) decided in December 2012 that it would seek to generate income of around £180k p.a. from selling advertising space on council owned assets and land such as roundabouts.

A planning application to install “four non-illuminated post-mounted [advertising] signs” on the Savages Wood Roundabout on Bradley Stoke Way (near the leisure centre), received a frosty reception from town councillors at their October 2013 Planning Committee meeting, where they unanimously agreed to object to the application on the grounds that the proposed signs would be distracting for drivers and contribute to an over-proliferation of signs in the area.

The application was subsequently “called-in” by Cllr Hopkinson, leading to it being considered by SGC’s Development Control (West) Committee on 21st November 2013. At that meeting, another Bradley Stoke councillor, Keith Cranney, attempted to defer a decision on the matter by insisting that the council “undertake an up to date road safety impact assessment and audit of the Savages Wood Road roundabout”, but his proposal found no supporters other than Cllr Hopkinson. Members of the committee then proceeded to grant permission for the advertising signs by a vote of nine to two.

The town council raised no objection to a later planning application for advertising signs on the Patchway Brook Roundabout (near Aldi).  An objection from a member of the public who claimed that the signs would violate guidance given in the Department for Transport’s Design Manual for Roads and Bridges was dismissed by planning officers, who claimed the guidance applied only to trunk roads.

Advertising signs were subsequently installed on the Patchway Brook Roundabout between Christmas and New Year (although they have recently been removed, for some unknown reason) and on the Savages Wood Roundabout within the last few days.

Do you think advertising should be allowed on Bradley Stoke’s roundabouts? Complete our reader poll in the sidebar of the website or on the Polls Archive page.

Photo: Newly-installed advertising sign on the Savages Wood Road Roundabout, near Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre.

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  1. What if, following an accident on one of our roundabouts, a driver claimed distraction by an advertising board was a contributory factor: might the council be sued?

  2. I think this is wrong for them to put it on roundabouts it makes it look tacky and can be Dangerous to drivers ,is it all about the money

  3. I’m amazed they haven’t place them on the Three Brooks Roundabout – after all, that would drivers give the opportunity to read them properly, whilst they’re all queuing to get into Willow Brook Centre … (for clarity, I am being sarcastic).

    I don’t think signs should be placed on roundabouts. They are invariably unreadable, and even more distracting as a result.

  4. After all the recent road traffic accidents in the vicinity of Bradley Stoke Way it is an insult to those injured to install more distractions to drivers.
    Negotiating any roundabout needs total concentration.
    It’s time too that unauthorised advertising for local fetes, bazaars etcetera, which is sometimes placed at intervals along the edge of roads, was made illegal. These signs are also an unnecessary distraction.

  5. To answer JD, yes the Council could be sued, as could the advertiser, but it would have to be proved that the only reason for distracting the driver was the sign on the roundabout. This may be difficult as they are staic boards rather than illuminated, LED or computerised signs which flashing may cause distraction.

    Personally I don’t agree with advertising on roundabouts because it’s a waste of money rather than a distraction – how many advertising boards do we drive past when they are at the side of the road without crashing into anything?

  6. Can’t see what all the fuss is about. There are huge banners as you approach the roundabout advertising events and offers at the leisure centre which are far more distracting.

    In fact all advertising is distracting so lets ban it all hey!

    Also I remember seing SG Council using roundabout ads as part of safety campaigns in the past.

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