From Kissing gates to K barriers- A barrier is a barrier

Hazelbury park is located between Ongar and Littlepace. It is under Fingal County Council’s responsibility. It creates a lovely wide open space and provides for a number of amenities such as pitches for the local GAA clubs, paths for walkers and joggers and not least a cycle route through the park. The cycle lane acts as a natural greenway route from Huntstown and Hartstown over a km away which connects it to the Post Primary school Setanta. Unfortunately, there are many barriers preventing access to the park along its boundaries. A survey completed by one of our members has shown that there are 6 different types of barrier entrances into the park and only 2 of these would be considered easy to use for all ages and abilities. Photos of the barriers are linked to this article. They are mostly kissing gates or chicane type barriers. They’re primary purpose is to stop scrambler bikes from using the park. It may do so but it prevents a lot more people from easy access to the park.
At a recent local area meeting for the Ongar ward in Fingal County Council, Cllr Aaron O’Rourke (Sinn Fein) put forward a motion asking for the replacement of the one of the most commonly used kissing located at the Manorfields roundabout. It is a chicane type barrier. A google maps link shows you the location and type of barrier . Cllr O’Rourke was motivated by improving access for all users but unfortunately Fingal Council Council response was to install a K type barrier. Here is a good website explaining why K type barriers shouldn’t be used from UK based cycling organisation in Sheffield. Their website explains that *“We campaign for a cycle friendly Sheffield where anyone can choose to make their journey by bike. We want cycling to be inclusive and easy, not limited to the quick and the brave.”

A YouTube video of the gate of a cargo bike user from Fingal Cycling Campaign who lives locally:

You can watch Cllr Aaron O’Rourke discuss his motion at the local area committee meeting on 26th November. The Chief executive responded to Cllr O’Rourke motion by recommending K type barriers for a trial period to enhance access for buggies and cyclists. Unfortunately the removal of one type of barrier for another type of barrier only excludes different users and doesn’t enhance access to the park. A barrier is a barrier.

Here is a link to Cllr Aaron O’Rourke (Sinn Fein)…

Thanks to Cycle Sheffield-Streets 4 people for photo of Bob going through K barrier.

Wednesday, 2 December 2020 - 7:00pm

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