Business owner criticises ban on A-boards in Whitechapel Road

Grenville Miles, Rashid Bekhouche and Noor and Ismael Zainalabidin with the A board

Grenville Miles, Rashid Bekhouche and Noor and Ismael Zainalabidin with the A board - Credit: Archant

A businessowner has warned that banning A-frames in Whitechapel Road will affect his livelihood after he was ordered to remove an advertising sign.

Representatives from TfL visited shopkeepers without warning on Wednesday to tell them to remove A-frames from pavements within the next seven days as part of a trial.

Grenville Mills, partner of the Lemontree Cafe, says his business will be particularly badly hit as it is on the fourth floor of the Idea Store.

“There is a reason why we have an A-frame - to let people know that we are upstairs,” he said. “We are already fighting against the supermarkets and our A-frame is a major source of getting people in.”

Grenville owns another cafe in Bow for which he pays the borough a fee to allow him to display an A-frame, but he has been told no similar option will be made possible in this location.

“We were told that this is non-negotiable and they can’t discuss individual cases because it is a directive,” he added. “Whitechapel Road is a really big retail road and removing A-frames is yet another threat to the high street. I think is absolutely absurd.”

Businessowners visited by TfL were given letters which state that if the A-board is not removed within seven days “we will have no alternative but to consider further action including its removal and storage”.

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Dana Skelley, Director of Asset Management at TfL, said: “Removing unnecessary clutter from the capital’s roads and footways helps create a safe and accessible street environment and contributes to improving the public realm for London’s visitors, residents and workers.

“To support this objective, we have recently begun a trial of more robust enforcement against unauthorised advertising (‘A’) boards on Whitechapel Road. This approach is supported by many important stakeholders and especially benefits our more vulnerable road users.”