3,153,600 ads per year? Say no to giant new digital screen for Cheltenham Road

*Update June 14 2022* Global and Network Rail have withdrawn their application, after the proposed screen received more than 400 objections. One less screen for Bristol!

Advertisers want to place a new digital screen by the Arches: Here’s how to object!

The proposed new screen could show a new advert every ten seconds. Does Cheltenham Road need 3,153,600 more ads per year?! Network Rail claims that its giant new digital screen, which is 6.5m wide by 3.5m high, will ‘modernise’ the area and provide ‘positive benefits’. In a part of Bristol where debates about gentrification, land ownership and the right to public space are more relevant than ever, the intrusion of more corporate advertising is unlikely to be welcomed.

Public safety is a major concern at the site, with several pedestrian crossings, a complex junction and a school nearby that would be affected as the screen fulfils its primary objective – to distract anyone driving, cycling or walking past. With 49 road traffic incidents in the last 5 years at this site, including a serious collision in 2020, is more distraction really what’s needed?

Objecting to this screen takes five minutes: pop the kettle on and follow these simple instructions!

There’s an extra benefit to objecting to these screens – there are two existing billboards at the site which *never got planning permission* in the first place….. with enough objections, we can also ask for these to be removed.

How to object:

1. Go to planningonline.bristol.gov.uk/search and enter code: 22/01084/A 

2. Click ‘Make a Comment’. 

3. Write as much as you’d like about your objections. Below are some points you could include, but make sure to make it personal to you:

Bear in mind your comments will be publicly available and may be read and quoted by anyone, including journalists.

  • This development would harm the amenity of the area. The Cheltenham Road holds important cultural value for the City of Bristol, and is proud to host many successful small businesses. Giant digital screens are intrusive and create a negative atmosphere which is at odds with the current street vibe.

  • The digital advertising screens – which would be raised higher than the current billboards to make them more intrusive – should not be permitted inside the Montpelier Conservation Area.

  • The area is also residential with many people living in the immediate vicinity. People should not have to suffer glaring advertising when going about their day to day lives.

  • This development is not in line with responsible environmental policy. Besides the large electricity consumption of digital screens, billboard advertising perpetuates consumerism that is harmful for our well-being, and the planet.

  • Cheltenham Road is a very busy thoroughfare, with lots of traffic and pedestrian activity. Records show 49 road traffic incidents in the last 5 years including a serious collision in 2020 which involved 1 casualty. The siting of this billboard right next to the road will doubtless draw attention from passersby, increasing the risk of road traffic accidents.

  • The location of advertising signs at this location is undemocratic and not supported by the people of Bristol. As the applicant notes, the current billboards that are displayed on the National Rail site are there without permission. Replacing these with a digital screen capable of changing the image every ten seconds would increase the net advertising content displayed at this location. The appropriate action would be to remove advertising hoardings from this site altogether.

Adblock Bristol are part of the Adfree Cities network. We are a volunteer group who are concerned about the impacts of corporate advertising on our health, wellbeing, environment, climate, communities and the local economy. We lobby for policy change at a local levels, showcase alternatives, organise locally to stop new advertising sites and produce resources to raise awareness about the impacts of commercial advertising. Get in touch at adblockbristol@gmail.com or find us on Twitter and Instagram: @adblockbristol.

Update: A letter sent to everyone that objected to the screen (more than 400 people) notifying us that the application has been withdrawn. Great work everyone!

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