Digital billboard on Blackfriars Road rail bridge vetoed

Plans by Network Rail to install a digital advertising billboard on the railway bridge above Blackfriars Road have been turned down by Southwark Council after Transport for London raised road safety concerns

Digital billboard on Blackfriars Road rail bridge vetoed
Network Rail submitted this photomontage of the proposed digital billboard

The rail bridge has been ad-free for at least five years but carried billboard posters before that, and was previously one of many railway structures painted in the colours of the Ferodo brake pad firm.

Earlier this year Network Rail applied to Southwark Council for permission to add a digital billboard to the northern face of the bridge.

The application has been turned down by council planning officers citing the impact on the setting of nearby listed buildings and the historic signage for the former Blackfriars Station under the railway bridge, the impact of a "visually intrusive structure" on local amenity and the risk to public safety of causing distraction to oncoming drivers.

Transport for London had objected to the billboard, saying: "The advertisement will in our assessment be a clear distraction for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians in an area where heightened awareness of other road users is essential given the high levels of activity, the junction, the bus stop and the cyclist provision.

"Adding to these safety risks the proposed illuminated advertisement hoarding will negatively impact on the public realm, which is contrary to Policy T2 Healthy Streets for no clear compensating benefit to the public at the expense of clutter and other disbenefits to the public.

"The proposed siting and design of the advertisement pays no attention to the design and symmetry of the bridge to which it would be attached.

"Nor does there appear to be any consideration as to how the advertisement display siting and design would relate to the street scene including the layout of Blackfriars Road with a segregated two way cycleway on one side of the road."

Tags: Planning & Development, Transport, Politics & local government, Southwark

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