Mechanic's anger over sign removal order

A mechanic claims his servicing and MOT business may have to close if he is forced to remove signs advertising the company.

Ashley Bye, who owns Mermaid Vehicle Services in Kington St Michael, Wiltshire says he relies on the roadside signs to attract business, but has recently been told to remove them by the county council, because he did not apply for permission to erect them.

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Mr Bye believes it could cost around £500 to go through the application process to place his signs, which he says are necessary to advertise his business.

He told the Gazette and Herald: “We were facing the prospect of closure because of a lack of work.

“Our budget is not high for advertising, so the easiest message were these signs. In the first week, we had six to eight more customers and it’s not just a coincidence, because they were saying they saw the signs had gone up and came in.”

He said he intended to keep the signs in place as long as he could, but the county council had told him they were distracting for road users and did not fit in with the surrounding countryside.

A Wiltshire County Council spokesman said that such signs require planning approval and a compliant had been received about Mr Bye’s advertisements.

The spokesman added: “We advised that the sign should be taken down and have provided information which details the correct process of advertising a business.”