Fly-posting and illegal signs

Illegal fly-posting, signs and how to report them.

What is the difference between fly-posting and illegal signs?


Fly-posting is the act of attaching posters, signs, flyers or stickers, without permission, on lampposts, trees, litter bins or any other structure on the highway (roads and footpaths), including staking them in the grass verge.

Illegal signs

Illegal signs are free-standing, usually on the footpath outside or near commercial premises, such as a shop or a restaurant and are usually used to advertise a business.

These are not the same as brown tourism signs which are provided by the council following application.

How can fly-posting and illegal signs pose a nuisance or danger?

Signs can be a particular problem when placed on main arterial transport routes, high speed roads (over 40 MPH), in close proximity to road junctions, roundabouts and traffic lights due to the distraction or obstruction to visibility.

Signs placed on the footpath can cause a hazard or obstruction to pedestrians, users of wheelchairs, people who have sight impairment or those with prams and pushchairs. Illegal signs can be a source of complaint and can degrade the local streetscene and act as a magnet for other illegal signage. Enforcement of illegal signage is based on risk criteria, whereby high risk areas such as those mentioned above are prioritised.

Is fly-posting illegal?

Yes, it is a criminal offence under the Highways Act 1980 and fly-posters can be reported to the council.

Fly-posting, such as posters and leaflets, can be an obstruction, nuisance or danger to road and footpath users, potentially causing a road traffic accident. We can remove fly-posting and the costs incurred in doing so can be charged to the person responsible for placing them.

Fines and fixed penalty notices

We can also issue a fixed penalty notice of £150 per illegal item placed on the highway, reduced to £100 if paid within 10 days. If you have placed 5 posters, you would be fined £750, reduced to £500 if paid within 10 days.

Failure to pay a fixed penalty notice may result in prosecution through the courts which if successful may result in a fine, payment of the councils costs and will result in a criminal record for the offence.

Read more about fixed penalty notices and how to pay them.

When are signs illegal?

Signs placed without the permission of East Riding of Yorkshire Council may be contrary to the Highways Act 1980 and the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

If you deliberately obstruct or place anything on the public highway (roads and footpaths) that causes a danger to pedestrians and road users, you are committing a criminal offence.

Who is responsible for signs?

The council does not legitimize unauthorised signage on the highway. Any legal responsibility and liability associated with signage remains with the business or organisation concerned.

Where can I find further guidance about the use of signs?

Please read the following information:

GOV.UK website - Outdoor advertisements and signs: a guide for advertisers

The Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007 provides guidance on the type and style of advertisements which may be permitted on private land with the appropriate planning consent where required.

Signs can be placed on private land, however they may be subject to planning consent. Read more about advertisement consent on the Planning Portal website.

The council offers advertising opportunities and sponsorships.

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