Press release: Cambridge Green Party fights plans for energy-guzzling advertising boards

1 March 2022

STOP PRESS! On the afternoon of 1st March we were notified that the applicant has withdrawn their proposals for the digital advertising boards on Newmarket Road. 

Cambridge Green Party is delighted to hear that plans to install these two digital advertising boards have been withdrawn. But if these proposals are brought back, or similar applications are made for sites elsewhere in the city, the Greens will campaign against them just as vigorously and make formal objections to the City Council. On this occasion, common sense and a commitment to sustainable development have prevailed.


Original press release:

Cambridge Green Party is fighting plans to install energy-sapping advertising screens on Newmarket Road in Cambridge.

Green City Councillor Hannah Copley has submitted an objection to proposals for double-sided digital boards at two bus shelters to Wednesday’s [March 2] meeting of Cambridge City Council’s Planning Committee.

Greens argue approving the plans would breach the Council’s commitment to sustainable development, as well as causing light pollution and potential road safety issues.

Cllr Copley, who represents Abbey ward, said: “We are living in a climate emergency.

Reducing energy use should be a top priority for the Council – so why allow something to be built which unequivocally increases energy demand in its production, installation and continued maintenance?

As well as being a colossal waste of electricity, these highly visible displays would be a distraction for drivers and could be a light pollution nuisance. 

They would in no way enhance our area’s character.

A recent Freedom of Information request to Manchester City Council revealed that their digital advertising displays each use as much energy per year as three households.

In her written submission, Cllr Copley raises the likely impact on residents and nature of the brightly-lit screens and asks for evidence that the boards will not pose a risk to safety by distracting users of the busy Newmarket Road.

She is also objecting to the planning applications by Clear Channel Ltd on the grounds of visual amenity.

Cllr Copley added: “This will make waiting for a bus genuinely unpleasant as you will have no choice but to stand right next to a bright screen scrolling through adverts every ten seconds.

“It is not helpful when we should be doing everything we can to make public transport the desirable way to travel." 


Image: digital advertising board at Abbey Stadium on Newmarket Road

Newmarket Road showing existing digital advertising board

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