An argument has broken out between Hampshire County Council and traders in Winchester city centre over slip and trip public liability claims.
The council has made the decision to ban A-board signs from pavements in the shopping areas of the city, as they say they pose a danger to pedestrians, particularly blind and disabled.
At least three businesses have had their signs taken away by the council after they threatened such action earlier in the year. They also charge the businesses £90 if they want the signs back.
However, shop and business owners have reacted angrily after it was revealed that only one public liability claim has been made because of the boards in the last five years.
Some owners have said that removing the boards will have a negative effect on their businesses trade. Chloe Roberts, a toy shop owner said: “To have only one claim in five years and yet to be taking it out against so many businesses, which will suffer without the signs, is absolutely insane. Whoever is behind this has no sense of business or fairness.”
Mel Kendal, a county councillor for Hampshire responded: “Hampshire County Council has a legal duty to ensure our pavements and the highways are free from obstruction. This is for everyone’s benefit but particularly elderly, disabled and visually-impaired pedestrians who may trip or fall.”
The council consider the fact that only one claim has been made in the past five years to be down to the strict precautionary actions they have taken.