Accident victim supports A-board regulation plans

DM152980a.jpg William Jordon-White, tripped over an a-board in Worthing town centre and broke his shoulder. Now a consultation to licence a-boards, with added need for public liability insurance. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-151008-162235008
DM152980a.jpg William Jordon-White, tripped over an a-board in Worthing town centre and broke his shoulder. Now a consultation to licence a-boards, with added need for public liability insurance. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-151008-162235008

A MAN who broke his shoulder tripping over an advertising board has supported a proposal to regulate their use.

Businesses will be consulted on a range of proposals next month, which could restrict the placement and number of boards allowed, while introducing compulsory public liability insurance.

Some traders have expressed concern that the plans could be unreasonable.

But William Jordon-White, 70, of Heene Terrace, Worthing, endorsed the plans, following his accident in Marine Parade in January.

He had returned from a night at the Connaught and did not notice the black A-board on the floor as he hurried to catch a bus in the driving rain and darkness.

He said: “I am very frustrated because I am never going to shrug off this shoulder injury for the rest of my life. I couldn’t do anything for a long time. The A-board had been left out in the dark in bad weather and nobody had bothered to come out and pick it up.”

The consultation comes after numerous complaints from residents and disability groups about excess street furniture, with A-boards sometimes completely blocking town centre streets.

I Love Candy owner Paul O’Brien said the proposals may punish the whole town for the misuse of A-boards by a select few.

“They’re an essential piece of advertising for small businesses that can’t afford to advertise in any other way,” he said. “From a business point of view, if there is a cost involved, it should be a fair cost. If there came a time when I would have to pay for one, I simply wouldn’t pay.”

Heene councillor and Rowlands Road trader Diane Guest has been leading the process and assured traders it would not be a ‘money-making exercise’.

She said: “The process is having to happen to ensure the safe wellbeing of our residents and businesses alike. It is not a money-making scheme and the concerns of the businesses have been taken into account.”

Worthing Access and Mobility group secretary Norah Fisher said the boards were potentially a ‘death trap’ for those with disabilities, confirming she had received several complaints.

Worthing Pier county councillor Michael Cloake supported the control and licensing of A-boards. He said: “Caution needs to be given to business’ needs to advertise, however, and it is important that the voice of business is heard in the consultation about alternative forms of advertising.”

Mr Jordon-White could not claim compensation as efforts to trace the owner of the fallen A-board proved unsuccessful.