Success! Another advertising screen refused in Bristol

We’re delighted that another double-sided digital advertising screen or ‘BT Street Hub’ has been refused permission by Bristol Council. Big thanks to everyone who lodged objections, supported our Big Box protest tour or came to our digital activism sessions last year, and to councillors who’ve been standing up to new advertising in Bristol.

64 people objected to the new ad screen, which was proposed to be in the middle of the pavement outside Horfield Sainsburys, on Gloucester Road. ‘BT Street Hubs’ are controversial, pavement-standing ad units with wifi and call functionality that have been blanket refused in several other councils owing to security and other concerns.

Above: talking to locals about the proposed screen with our Big Box, built by Adblock member Ben, outside Horfield Sainsburys last year

The council said in their refusal that the screen would cause unacceptable distraction to road users, with the Transport team saying “Advertising is by its nature designed to attract attention. In an environment where drivers are required to concentrate on the highway, distraction should be limited. Digital adverts, by their nature, can create additional distraction, as the brighter images and change in images can give an impression of movement outside of the driver’s cone of vision, or confuse drivers.

And in terms of how the new ad screen would look, the council’s refusal threw the book at it:

“The illuminated advertisement screens, by virtue of their excessive scale, prominent siting, form, nature and extent of illumination, would appear as an alien, prominent and intrusive element within the streetscene. The proposals would therefore result in an unacceptable adverse impact on visual amenity of this part of the streetscene and the character and appearance of the wider area. The proposed advertisements would not preserve or enhance/improve the public realm and would fail to contribute to a safe, attractive, high quality, inclusive and legible public realm that contributes positively to local character and identity.” For those among you who’d like to read the full planning report, search 22/04505/A, ‘Officer Report’.

​Objecting works! Thanks for all you do. We’re waiting on decisions for some 20 more BT Street Hubs – fingers crossed.

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