Advert screens at Sun-in-the-Sands blamed for driver distraction

Conservative London Assembly Members Keith Prince and Shaun Bailey (left) at the sun in the sands with Malcolm Reid, Thomas Turrell and Councillor Geoff Brighty


Local Conservatives have voiced concerns over the new LED screens over the A2/ A102 at the Sun-in-the-Sands roundabout in Blackheath. The electronic screens which change between adverts have been criticised by drivers who claim they are distracting when coming off the dual carriageway onto the roundabout.


Transport for London, which owns the screens, first applied for planning permission in late 2013. Greenwich Council denied this permission but the plans were later granted on appeal by the Planning Inspectorate. The screens were then installed by TfL in June. Since then drivers have complained of distraction and residents have also complained of light from the screens shining into their bedrooms and living rooms.


Conservative councillor Geoff Brighty wrote to the planning department asking if the signs, visible from street level, were within the conditions of the planning permission. The council has confirmed this. Geoff has since raised the issue of light pollution with Environmental Health.


2018 Conservative candidate for Blackheath Westcombe ward, Thomas Turrell, has been working with London Assembly Members Shaun Bailey to raise concerns and complaints about the screens directly with Transport for London. Thomas and Shaun complained to TfL in late June, however TfL responded saying the boards are safe for drivers but did agree to dim to screens to reduce light pollution for residents.


Shaun Bailey AM, and the Chairman of the London Assembly Transport Committee, Keith Prince AM, visited Blackheath to inspect the screens before raising the issue with the Mayor of London, who is also the Chairman of TfL.


Councillor Geoff Brighty said “These screens are not in a sensible location. They are causing distraction and inconvenience for motorists and residents alike. If the issues from the screens cannot be fixed, then TfL should take them back down”.


Thomas Turrell added “TfL may have a piece of paper which tells them this is a safe location, but anyone can see that in practice these screens are causing distraction to drivers. Both Keith and Shaun have been incredibly helpful and I thank them for that”.