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Scotland’s towns and cities should follow Edinburgh’s lead and ban advertising boards on streets

A national sight loss charity is calling on towns and cities throughout Scotland to follow Edinburgh City Council’s lead and bad advertising boards on streets.

RNIB Scotland has welcomed the capital’s landmark decision last week to make a temporary ban, introduced in autumn 2017, permanent after campaigns by disability and heritage groups.

James Adams, director of RNIB Scotland, said: "Edinburgh’s decision was a bold and forward-thinking one and very welcome news for blind and partially sighted people. A third of those that RNIB surveyed previously said they had been injured by pavement obstacles.

“The ban that has been in place for over a year now has made Edinburgh a safer and more welcoming environment for residents and visitors with sight loss and other disabilities.

“We hope other towns and cities will follow suit. If a city as historic and important as Edinburgh to the Scottish and UK economy can take this step, others can too. The council has worked with local businesses to look at alternatives such as wall advertising.

“Some other Scottish local authorities have tentatively introduced a ban but we’re not sure how widely this is enforced.

“A vital element for any successful 21st-century town or city must be inclusivity, one that is open and welcoming to everyone, no matter what needs they have.”

Blind campaigner and city resident, Kirin Saeed, was among those who spoke to Edinburgh City Council’s transport committee meeting about their personal experiences ahead of last week’s vote.

“I am delighted and proud of the City of Edinburgh council for agreeing to make permanent a move that will enable blind and partially sighted people to walk the streets of Edinburgh with freedom,” she said.