Pedals Policy on the Use of Barriers

(drafted by Susan Young, and agreed at the Pedals meeting on 20 March 2017)

All forms of barrier are likely to restrict or prevent accessibility for some legitimate user of the path and should only be used when the need for them has been proven based on good evidence and not if the risk is perceived.

Access control measures should not obstruct or to cause the rider any inconvenience or difficulty. Riders should not have to dismount or stop to manoeuvre whilst still astride the cycle.

Barriers should be used as a last resort when there is no other way to resolve a proved difficulty.

Before any access control is installed, cyclists and other users of the path should be consulted.

Should some form of access control has been proved to be necessary, the following criteria should be considered:

  • Cyclists should be able to cycle through and not have to dismount
  • Should not prevent cycles or any form of trailer to pass through
  • Should allow heavily laden cycles to pass through i.e. those with full panniers
  • Should allow trikes and recumbents to pass through
  • Should allow adapted cycles to pass through
  • Should not restrict access to older and disabled cyclists

On shared paths it may be necessary to set barriers to allow wheelchairs and mobility scooters through.

Emergency and maintenance vehicles should have access.

Barriers should be very visible, in a contrasting colour/s to their background, and ideally, well lit. This is especially important as most paths are also used by people with disabilities including poor vision.

Types of Barrier

  • Use of sight line either natural or engineered
  • Single bollard
  • Group of bollards
  • Gate (Radar key access may be needed for users with wheelchairs)
  • K frame set to allow all types of cycles through
  • A frame

Using Barriers

Bollards are the preferred form of access control. A single one should be adequate to deter cars.

Other forms of access control such as A-frames and staggered barriers, are likely to interfere with many types of cycle, so should be used with caution.


Click each image for a detailed view.

A-frame barrier on the path by Fairham Brook near the Silverdale Estate in Wilford

Wilford Suspension Bridge. Conspicuous but not well spaced.

Abbey Street

Grove Road

Inconspicuous bollards on the west (City Road) side of the toucan crossing under the Dunkirk flyover. We are trying to get these made more conspicuous but this is made more difficult by a dispute between Highways England the City Council as to just who is responsible for them!

Well-spaced and conspicuous bollards on the shared path near the north end of Wilford Grove in The Meadows, which was upgraded in 2014

K-frame barrier. These are only rarely used in Nottinghamshire but are widely used elsewhere, e.g. in Derbyshire, including on the Derbyshire leg of the Erewash Valley Trail (canal towpath).