‘Move A-boards and make Boston more friendly for disabled people’

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BUSINESSES in Boston are being called on to have more consideration to disabled people using the town – and move pavement-blocking A-boards.

The boards and signs can be seen outside a large number of shops, restaurants and other businesses in the area, as proporieters like to make their companies as visible as possible.

But their gain in customer may be to the detriment of visitors to the area, according to the Boston Disability Forum, as it means people in wheelchairs, scooters, and those with sight problems struggle to get from place to place.

Forum secretary Becky Wood told The Standard: “I believe allowing local businesses the freedom to advertise through a small A-boards that do not cause a major obstruction on the pavement is good for local economy, but if it is causing an obstruction it should be dealt with. It could, after all, cause a serious injury.

“Disabled people just want to go about their business decoursly and it is simply indecent and impolite to block a pavement.”

Member Joe Nash said it was just another thing making disabled people feel unwelcome in the town, following the introduction of parking charges for blue badge holders by Boston Borough Council earlier this year.

Lincolnshire County Council has responsibility for enforcing clear pavements, but area highways manager, Andy Wharff, said it needed ‘a reasonable approach’.

He added: “We do look to support local businesses wherever possible, however it is our responsibility to help ensure people’s safety and convenience on the pavements, being particularly mindful of those with pushchairs, or who are blind, or partially sighted.”