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'A' Boards: Best Practice Guidelines

­The following guidelines constitute good practice for the location of 'A' boards on the public footpath. For the purposes of this report, 'A' boards constitute advertising boards placed on the footpath by commercial operators which advertise the operation or contents of the organisation. Typically it be an A-framed timber board with the name of a shop or restaurant on it. This guideline does not cover fruit and vegetable shops with displays on pavements or news vendor kiosks although the principles of keeping clear passage for pedestrians will apply to any occupier of the footpath.

  1. In certain streets there will be a presumption against the use of 'A' boards. These streets are ones where 'A' boards will have a serious effect on the ability of pedestrians to move freely along the street.

  2. If the footpath cannot accommodate an 'A' board and still retain a 2m width free passage for pedestrians (excluding the 450mm clearance of an 'A' board placed adjacent to the kerb) then there will be a presumption against the presence of 'A' boards. On busy city centre streets, eg Lothian road, the Bridges, Leith Walk, George IV Bridge, Queensferry Street, the pedestrian clearance should be 3m.

  3. Where 'A' boards are considered acceptable, no more than one board per shop unit will be permitted.

  4. If the board is free standing it will be located at the kerb side of the footpath. If the board is flat, it should be located against the stall riser. Boards placed adjacent to the kerb must be 450 mm back from the kerb.

  5. 'A' boards will only be located on the footpath outside the premises that it signals.
    • No advanced advertising will be permitted. The exception to this is where businesses are located down closes or side streets off the High street. In these instances a single communal board may be placed at the corner.

  6. The size of boards should be no higher than 1m and no wider than 750mm. It is not proposed to control the colour or design of 'A' boards.

  7. All boards should be taken in at the end of the working day. It is unacceptable to chain boards to lampposts or railings overnight.