Plans for digital ad screen off Fishponds Road spark protests

October 01 2019
Plans for digital ad screen off Fishponds Road spark protests

A CAMPAIGN has been launched against plans to install a digital advertising screen on a busy corner of Fishponds Road.

Advertising firm Clear Channel wants to replace the existing billboard at the corner of Station Road and Fishponds Road, opposite the Lidl car park, with a digital screen.

It has applied for planning permission for the screen, which it says will be the same scale and size as the existing poster.

But the plan has brought objections from the group Adblock Bristol, which campaigns for "a city free from corporate outdoor advertising".

Encouraging supporters to make objections, Adblock said the new billboard "would present a distraction for drivers which is unacceptable in a busy residential area".

The group said: "This exact location has a history of minor incidents, which have occurred in 2014, 2017 and 2018. Nothing should be done which could increase the risk of more serious collisions."

So far more than 25 people, from Fishponds and further afield in the city, have written to the council objecting to the plan.

One Fishponds resident whose objection has been published on the council website, Thomas Bond, said: "Fishponds Road is a busy road for both vehicles and pedestrians. A digital screen for the purposes of advertising would act as a distraction to drivers and pose a risk of further accidents on this road.

"I live in the adjacent road and I am already unhappy with the amount of large advertisement boards around the area, not to mention the smaller ones all around the area."

Another Fishponds resident, Rob Hemming, said: "The attention seeking/distracting nature of this development will be a hazard to road users as well as pedestrians crossing at this junction. Accidents will be more likely of this goes ahead. In addition, light pollution will increase, affecting local residents."

A Clear Channel spokesperson said the company did not comment on individual planning applications.

The spokesperson said: "Digital screens bring a number of benefits for both the public, as well as for advertisers of all sizes.

"With any new advertising panel, digital or paper based, Clear Channel seeks all of the appropriate permissions with the relevant authorities. The planning process takes into account, amongst many other things, vehicular traffic and impact on drivers, as well as visual impact on a street scene.

"Last year around 40% of Clear Channel’s revenues were returned to local authorities through rents and rates paid, giving local councils vital revenues to be re-invested in their communities as they see fit."