Appeal over “hazardous” Archway adverts

A blind group campaigning to get a pair of “hazardous” advertising boards removed has been forced to take its fight to the Planning Inspectorate.

Talking News Islington (TNI), which records audio newspapers for visually impaired and blind people, has been calling for the boards in Holloway Road, Archway, to be taken away for months.

Elizabeth Jones, 83, of Yerbury Road, Holloway, the chairwoman of TNI, said: “I have banged myself on them two or three times.

“When I walk along, the cane goes underneath because they are on a post. You’re not aware there’s an obstacle, so you walk into it.”

Stephanie Smith, manager of Archway market and a volunteer with TNI, said more than 250 people wrote letters asking Islington Council to remove the boards in April.

The council then ruled they should go – but owner Primesight has appealed. Until the planning inspector makes its decision, the adverts will stay in place.

Ms Smith said: “The boards are a hazard. They cause shock and injury to visually impaired people, who are led into them by the layout of the pavement. Using a cane to feel the tree pit on their right, a blind person will be led directly smack into these boards.”

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Cllr Arthur Graves, a Liberal Democrat councillor for Junction ward, said: “Frankly I think they should go. The council should never have allowed them in the first place.”

Primesight declined to comment.