Regular readers will know that I have been campaigning about the state of the advertising billboards on the Western Road. They had got into a shocking state of disrepair and had not hosted an advert for around 18 months. I said that the company that owned them should either repair and use them properly or remove them altogether.
Well tonight they are being taken down.
It appears that the company was not able to paste new adverts because such pasting had to be done from the road itself and this was unsafe. So they decided to take them down. There have been some form of billboards on the site since at least the 1920s but it is right that, as they were rotten and unused they should be pulled down.
The company that owns the land clearly has the right to erect new billboards there. But I would ask them to consider the impact on residents and what works will be needed to the land they are sited on before pressing ahead with any works. In my (totally inexpert) opinion, they could only site new boards away from the road if they levelled the bank and this would have a significant effect on the local environment. Of course, if they come forward with plans then these would have to be properly considered, but it is clearly a major undertaking.
Incidentally, it was telling to note that the firm providing the traffic signals had come from Taunton and the guys doing the demolition work had come from Birmingham. It is sad that they could not have found local firms (and local people) to do the works.
The photos show (from top to bottom): My original campaign; the billboards in various stages of demolition. When it's light enough tomorrow I'll get some shots of the finished article.