Driveway firm fined over rogue advertising boards

A driveway company has been ordered to pay a total of £4,563 in fines and costs after South Gloucestershire Council prosecuted them for illegally erecting advertising boards on a number of streets.

John Joseph McDonagh of Meadowview in Shortwood, was convicted in his absence at Bristol Magistrates Court on March 18 after council enforcement officers prosecuted Everset Driveways Ltd. He was handed a £2,500 fine and ordered to pay £1,063 in costs and a further £1,000 in compensation, making a total of £4,563.

The court heard that between September 2022 and October 2023 alone, 113 advertising boards belonging to Everset Driveways Ltd had been found by the council fly posted across the area.

The council operates a ‘three-strike’ approach to offences of this nature, and first wrote to Everset Driveways Ltd in January 2022 after advertising boards had been placed on council-owned street furniture without permission. In July 2022 a further letter was sent to the business for a repeat offence. A third offence was discovered in November 2022 at Park Road, Kingswood. This led to the business being issued a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) and a Community Protection Warning for them to desist in the future placement of advertising boards, except for directly outside of where they were working, at the time, and for the duration they were working. The FPN was resolved within the 10 day discounted period at the cost of £75.

On October 12, 2023, an officer patrolling Syston Way in Kingswood saw four advertising boards for Everset fixed to traffic light junction railings. He also saw a wooden pallet propped against the traffic light post carrying two further boards. On another part of the junction he could see another pallet with two more signs on it. The officer could find no trace of Everset staff working nearby.

The following day, boards were seen at the roundabout junction of Gloucester Road North, Southmead Road and the A4174.  On October 23, an officer on foot patrol in New Cheltenham Road, Kingswood,  came across work being done on a driveway. Outside the address were two large red plastic barriers blocking access, and attached to each was an Everset advertising board. The officer correctly identified that this did not constitute an offence, however, on patrolling a wider area he spotted boards fixed to a pallet propped against a bollard 50-60yds from the address being worked on. In the opposite direction, about 60yds from the address, he found another pallet propped against a telegraph pole with advertising boards attached to it.

On November 8 boards were seen at the junction of St Briavels Drive and Highworth Crescent in Yate.

The court recognised that South Gloucestershire Council had been through a thorough process with the company and the offence was compounded following the issue of the FPN and their subsequent failure to amend their behaviour. The Magistrate also stated that if it had been possible for them to do so, they would have issued fines for each of the individual 113 boards that had been posted. As it was, they sentenced for them as a whole.

• To report an issue to South Gloucestershire Council visit, call 01454 868000 or email