For those residents in Kensington & Chelsea who may wonder why so many single, bright-lit advertising display posters are appearing all over the Borough the answer is simply – we are not being told?

There was a time when the key-word in the Borough was ‘less is more’ as we watched useful railing along the Cromwell Road being removed to “clean up the street furniture”. Not only useful safe-guarding barriers, but also street signs, guard rails and seating. The key words in their Good Practice Guide on Streetscape was: The finest streetscapes have the minimum amount of street furniture. Only items that make a positive contribution deserve a place in the street.

Everything was being reviewed, street lighting, lighting of buildings, traffic signals, litter bins, cycle stations. You name it, the Council were either throwing it out – or turning it into a work of art that must be acceptable in our streets. But not, it seems these over-large, over-bright advertisement boards, erected almost overnight, and in many cases in the centre of the pavement, with the previous bus shelter, which in most cases was positioned at the kerb edge now removed and not replaced.

Just why do these things happen? Especially in a Borough that has taken so much care to remove ugly and distracting poster sites?

There is another ugly poster site that dominates the Cromwell Road just at the junction of Earls Court. A truly ugly shape and a great example of really poor taste in street furniture. And here again, despite the many objections, this overlarge cabinet remains in pole position on this busy highway making the media company a great deal of valuable cash every day it sits there. Which is now more than ten years in our estimation.

There is no doubt that these brightly lit advertising light boxes all act as a distraction for all the road users.

Digital illuminated poster sites are already under scrutiny at the Road Safety Knowledge Centre where they are gathering evidence to ensure a light level is imposed and distracting additional light sources are banned.

These posters do not enhance our Borough and in some cases they are a serious safety distraction to motorists and pedestrians alike.