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Country News - 2005

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Billboard free Christmas - for some

Wednesday 21 December 2005

AS hundreds of thousands of motorists prepare for long journeys to see friends and family over Christmas, they will be passing hundreds of illegal advertising hoardings on the sides of tractors, trailers and temporary screens placed in fields alongside motorways and major trunk roads.

Most advertising is illegal on the state-owned land alongside motorways but hundreds of farmers are being paid to place such hoardings on their roadside land - a habit which has annoyed members of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, who says that the ads. spoil the countryside and are a potential danger by distracting drivers' attention.

Three months ago, the CPRE launched a campaign to persuade local authorities to take action to remove the illegal hoarding and today (December 21) it announced that several councils in Yorkshire and the Northwest were taking actions to remove so-called "hoarding hotspots" on the M6, M62 and A1.

Three companies using such ads have also been "named and shamed," including the supermarket giant Tesco.

Says CPRE campaigner Paul Miner: "We have successful highlighted that much of the roadside advertising is ugly, dangerous and is breaking planning rules. But the problem - up to one hoarding in every three miles of road - is still there and we need to do much more."


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