Monday, 4 May 2015

Remove the barriers to cycling

Sign the petition to remove access barriers in Rhondda Cynon Taff 

Access barriers are a common sight on cycle paths across the UK. They are particularly prevalent in Rhondda Cynon Taff, my local authority.

Lifting 23kg of Dutch bike above your head twice isn't fun
For me, the barriers are at best irritating, meaning I have to dismount and lift my 23kg Dutch bike over my head. At worst, they mean I avoid the traffic free route altogether and ride along the main road instead. I'm relatively hardened when it comes to cycling in the UK, most people would be put off cycling completely if this was the case.

For other people, the barriers will completely prevent access. Anyone who is elderly or has a disability wouldn't be able to lift their bike over their head. Wheelchairs and pushchairs may be equally denied access. It isn't right that a large group of legitimate users should be blocked from using a facility in an attempt to block motorised access.

Yes, I emphasise attempt because these barriers do not block all motorised access. Some motorbikes can still get through these barriers. It is incredibly frustrating that I, as a legitimate user am denied access while the very people the barriers attempt to block pass through with ease

 This is why I've started a petition to get these barriers removed. While the petition relates to my local area, please still sign. Maybe in the future it will gather enough momentum to put pressure on other local authorities too.

Access barriers are, and never have been, appropriate for a cycle route and should be gone, and never, ever installed in the future.


  1. Good post. Town planners should really consult the different user groups before putting up these barriers. In Brussels we also have a problem with obstacles on pavements and cycle paths, it's really frustrating when there's a collection of signposts and a huge stop-sign intended for cars in the middle of the pavement (you can read my blog post on this here: Good luck with your petition!

  2. They are a pain but you don't need to lift the bike over your head. Tilt the handlebars 45 degrees and push it through. Hope that helps.

  3. They are a pain but you don't need to lift the bike over your head. Borrow a battery-powered grinder from your local bike thief, cut/weaken at ground level, wiggle back and forth till they give way and separate, haul off to metals recycler. Hope that helps.

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  5. I have a bit of positive news for you regarding access barriers in this country.

    Salford City Council are trialling a route without them. I have been told that if there aren't any issues, then the council will begin to remove the barriers at other locations throughout the city. So far (three months) there haven't been any problems despite the council believing this route to be particularly 'at risk' from motorcycles.

    I know it's only one small corner of the UK, but it will provide a good case study to point to when pushing for their removal in other parts of the country.