Central Beds Council rekindles hotly debated plans for roundabout advertising

CBC says the signs would not distract drivers
CBC says the signs would not distract drivers

A contentious plan to place advertising signs on a Whipsnade roundabout looks set to be approved.

Central Beds Council wants to place the four boards on the junction at Dagnall Road, the B489 Icknield Way and Harling Road to boost its coffers through advertising.

However a previous plan to site the signs on the roundabout were rejected by the council’s own planning committee in February, as they would have “reduced visibility at the roundabout and provide a distraction to drivers, thereby having a detrimental impact upon highway safety”.

Eaton Bray Parish Council says that CBC’s revised proposal– that would result in signs that are 1,300mm wide and 480mm high– would still be a distraction for drivers on a major junction.

Central Beds Council disagrees and a CBC document attached to the planning application states: “Concerns were raised about the potential impacts of the signs on road safety at the time of the previous application; these concerns were not satisfied during thecourse of the application and thus the application was refused on the basis of the potential impact on highway safety.

“Following the refusal of the application, accident data has been collected on the roundabout over the past three years, and this has been analysed by the 
highways officer.

“Based on his comments, it appears that it is likely that the proposal would not give rise to an increased level of danger.”

The highways officer’s report noted one accident on the roundabout in the last 36 months, which resulted in a ‘slight’ injury.

An additional statement from Immediate Solutions Ltd, which is working with the council on the project, states that CBC would have the final say on advertising that could create a distraction for drivers.

It adds: “Should consent be granted the content of the signage will be carefully controlled through agreed protocols which ensure that the council has a final veto on advertisements or sponsorship notices before they are placed on each site.

“In this way the overall look and tone of the signage in each site is regulated from a safety and quality perspective.”

The application, which has been recommended for approval, will be discussed by CBC councillors next Wednesday (October 14).