DC Casebook: Advertisements - Posters ruled unsafe on tunnel approach

Two internally illuminated poster display panels at the entrance to the Blackwall Tunnel in south-east London have been refused consent after an inspector was swayed by concerns raised by Transport for London (TfL).

The signs were to be sited on land abutting the slip road onto the northbound carriageway leading to the tunnel. The road formed part of the strategic road network and carried 50,000 vehicles a day. TfL reported that five personal injury accidents had occurred nearby in the three years to December 2008. The posters would distract drivers at a point where vehicles were changing lanes and had to slow down to 30mph, it argued.

The appellants claimed that the accident rate was low compared to the volume of traffic and that the accidents referred to were largely due to careless driving, excessive speed or failing to indicate. There were no other junctions in the area and other advertisements, some with moving images, had not contributed to the accidents in the area, they insisted.

The inspector noted that the panels would be separated from a nearby industrial area and the site contained no existing advertisements. He concluded that their display would attract drivers' attention at a critical time where they had to negotiate moving from three lanes to two, thereby undermining highway safety.

DCS Number 100-064-286

Inspector Richard Maile; Hearing

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