Controversial advertising sign on major South Tyneside road to be put back in place

A huge digital advertising board seen by thousands of motorists heading in and out of South Tyneside has been taken down - but will be back on soon.

Wednesday, 6th March 2019, 11:22 am
Updated Wednesday, 6th March 2019, 11:58 am
The screens on the Leam Lane advertising screen have been taken down.

The screen - on the A194 at Leam Lane in Jarrow - disappeared in recent weeks, leaving just the frame used to hold the display empty.

South Tyneside Council, which installed the sign in partnership with advertising display Kong, has said it will be back up and running soon.

The Leam Lane advertising screen pictured when it was first up and running.

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A spokeswoman said: “The advertising screen located on the A194 is used to promote the council’s own services and events as well as bring in valuable advertising revenue.

“We are currently carrying out maintenance works to the frame, which are almost complete. The screen will be reinstated in the near future.”

The authority has repeatedly declined to say how much cash is generated by the sign.

It says that information is “commercially confidential.”

Leam Lane advertising screen has been taken down

It has also previously refused to reveal the cost of the project.

The 10ft by 20ft signs was installed in 2017 without planning permission, which was later granted by the council retrospectively - six months from when it was put into operation.

It came under fire from motorists who found the lighting too bright during the hours of darkness, leading to claims it was an “accident waiting to happen.”

As part of the planning consent granted, the display - since toned down in brightness - is also bound by other conditions.

These include that the sign will only be in place for the next five years.

The minimum display time for each digital advertisement image shall be no less than 10 seconds and all advertisement images must be be static - which means no special effects, flashing, or smoke.

The change interval between advertisement images is set at be 0.2 seconds, the complete screen shall change and the screen should include a mechanism to turn off in the event of a malfunction.