Controversial advertising sign mysteriously switched off after safety row

Leam Lane advertising screen turned off
Leam Lane advertising screen turned off

A giant advertising screen which has been branded an “accident waiting to happen” has mysteriously been switched off.

The 10ft by 20ft sign on the A194 Leam Lane, Jarrow, had come under fire in recent weeks over claims it may distract drivers on the 70mph road.

South Tyneside Council bosses refuse to say how much the sign cost of what they earn from it.

They did admit however to needing the advertising revenue from it.

But, the display has been turned off over the last few days and there’s no indication of when it will be switched back on.

A motorist from South Shields, said: “I spotted the sign was turned off as I left South Shields on Wednesday, then when I went past again on Friday afternoon it was also off.

A council spokesman has revealed the sign is turned off because of routine maintenance.

They said: “It’s switched off due to routine maintenance.”

Coun Lee Hughes, of the Putting People First party, is opposed to the installation.

He said: “It’s an eyesore, a danger and an accident waiting to happen.

“I’ve heard any number of people saying the same thing. It is a massive display. I’d be interested to know how much it’s costing and what it is earning.”

The council would not say how much the project cost or how it generates following a Freedom of Information request by the Gazette.

It says the information is “commercially confidential” and could give competitors an advantage.

An inquiry to project partner – Kong Outdoor – asking who foots the bill and where the money goes, also went unanswered.

The Gazette also asked for details of any complaints received. The council says no formal concerns have been raised, although there have been a “number of inquiries which have all been addressed”.