Council clamping down on boat signs

Health and safety is being attributed to a new

borough council proposal to reduce the number of signs advertising leisure cruises from Whitby.

Should the proposal be approved, from January 13 boat owners will only be able to advertise using signs placed next to their vessels.

Harbour Board chairman, Coun Mike Cockerill, said more and more signs have appeared in recent months, and restrictions are required before the situation gets out of hand.

“It’s starting to look untidy,” he said. “Members of the public have also expressed concern about the safety aspect.”

Coun Cockerill said he believed most existing signs would fall within the two metre squared restrictions.

The harbour has seen an increase in the number of operators offering fishing trips out of the harbour. To advertise their new and existing businesses, skippers have used signs to attract custom.

However, a report compiled by Whitby Harbour Master Ian Vasey suggests the signage has now become visually “overbearing” and creates a cluttered appearance. He also suggests ‘A’ boards could present obstacles to pedestrians.

Charter fisherman Ken Graham, owner of Libby, said there are some good suggestions.He said: “We are going to be allowed two square metres which is quite generous.

“The town is a tourist town and people need quick informationbut it is a competitive business and there will be one upmanship.

“There are no bye-laws or anything and the council can’t enforce anything and say I want that removing.”

Jon Whitton, skipper of Never Can Tell-A, said he also believed the council was right to restrict the number of signs beside the harbour. He said: “The council have always been a bit funny about the amount of notice boards there are.

“But I think some people just go over the top, and that’s where the problems is. Eventually the harbour board are going to have to step in.”

The report suggests that signage should only be allowed adjacent to the embarkation point for each vessel. Signs should also be no larger than two square metres, which may be split over a maximum of two sign boards.

‘A’ frames and freestanding signs will not be permitted.