Huge screens in Coventry to be put up beside busy roads

What the new advertising screen over the A444 at Caludon Road footbridge will look like
-Credit: (Image: Coventry City Council)


Huge digital screens will be placed above two busy Coventry roads. The signs will go on a bridge over the A444 and both sides of the tunnel at junction 6 of the ring road.

Coventry City Council gained permission for the plans this week on June 4. A council spokesperson said the move will bring in extra income to help fund services.

The screens are "important" for keeping residents up to date on the city, they added. In a report on the plans, a council officer said the 12x3 metre screens are "large" but would look "well-proportioned" where they are placed.

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Their report also referred to a road safety audit. This was a review of council plans for screens across the city and described problems needing action to improve safety and reduce collisions, according to planning documents.

For the A444 and ring road schemes it found drivers may be distracted by the screen or it could affect their vision. These issues may result in crashes or make collisions more likely, it said.

What one of the two new 12x3 metre screens over Coventry's ring-road will look like
What one of the two new 12x3 metre screens over Coventry's ring-road will look like -Credit:Coventry city council

The audit recommended moving the signs or making sure brightness levels do not affect how drivers can see. Either of these actions would reduce crashes relating to the issues, it stated.

A council 'decision log' said it would look at relocating the sign when drawing up detailed designs. It said the display brightness will be controlled by sensors to make sure it reflects background levels and keep within industry standards.

The screen will also be off from 11pm to 6am. A lighting assessment will also be carried out to set how intense the screen's brightness will be, the log added.

The controls are all conditions of planning permission for the screens, according to a decision notice. The council officer assessing the scheme said highways officers had accepted the audit subject to the conditions.

Their report added that moving images and directional symbols will not be allowed and the council will have to show the structures can take the screens. They concluded the signs are "acceptable in terms of public safety."

Plans for the screens were lodged by the council earlier this year. Following this the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) asked the council about concerns raised in the safety audit and why it wanted to put the signs up.

In response a spokesperson for Coventry City Council said: "All locations have been subject to a road safety audit. Following this, we have relocated two of the screens and the brightness of all the screens are adjusted and comply with industry standards to ensure they are all appropriate and safe.

"These screens are an important way of keeping residents informed and updated on events and issues in the city. We are proud to be the second best digitally connected city in the UK, and we are investing in continuing this work as we welcome exciting new developments such as City Centre South, Two Friargate and the Cultural Gateway.

"These new digital screens will also help to generate new revenue through commercial advertising to support the continued delivery of the council’s frontline services to help mitigate the financial challenges faced by all councils."

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