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'A' Frame Barriers

Comments please on 'A' Frame barriers (or any cycling hindering barriers).

Please read extract from Highways England

'Access barrier
A type of barrier designed to prevent (or discourage) illegitimate use of walking and cycling paths - in particular, entry using mopeds and motorcycles.

Typically these take the form of an 'A barrier', or 'K barrier', with added metal plates.

'A' type access barrier

The latest Highways England standard states that these barriers MUST NOT BE USED AT ALL, because they prevent access by various types of cycle, as well as other types of mobility aid, including wheelchairs and mobility scooters.'

If you're new please join in and if you have questions pop them below and the forum regulars will answer as best we can.

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OnYerBike | 2 years ago

Glad to see it recognised that there's no way of physically preventing access by mopeds etc. without also excluding a range of legitimate path users. Indeed, some barriers are tricky to navigate even as an able-bodied person with a conventional, unladen bicycle.

My main concern is that guidance to this effect seems to have existed for years in one form or another, and we always get infrastructure that fails to meet guidance, let alone best practice.

I would also note that Highways England are only responsible for motorways and major A roads, which are only a small part of the road network and often completely lacking in cycling facilities (and without proper cycling facilities those roads are typically either legally or practically prohibitive to cyclists) so even if Highways England removed every barrier, I doubt it would have much impact to cycists overall.

Tom_77 | 2 years ago
1 like

Highways England is in charge of motorways and A roads?

Think the relevant guidance is LTN 1/20 Cycle infrastructure design -

8.3 Access Controls


Access controls can reduce the usability of a route by all cyclists, and may exclude some disabled people and others riding nonstandard cycles.

There should therefore be a general presumption against the use of access controls unless there is a persistent and significant problem of antisocial moped
or motorcycle access that cannot be controlled through periodic policing.


Access controls that require the cyclist to dismount or cannot accommodate the cycle design vehicle are not inclusive and should not be used.


AlsoSomniloquism replied to Tom_77 | 2 years ago

Needs to be pointed to the canals trust. They seem to like using the Radar Key Gate / U Bend design on the canals round me. Sometimes the gate is "left open" but the majority requires me to get off the bike and man handle it around the u-bend. 

Robert Hardy replied to AlsoSomniloquism | 2 years ago

From the perspective of walkers, cyclists are often part of the problem on many Canal and River Trust towpaths, some impediment to our progress is justifyable. I can remember a time when towpaths were locked off and inaccessible, mysterious (to my child eyes) other places in our urban landscape, fortunately we all have access to them. Compromises in the use of our shared infrastructure are essential.

the little onion replied to Robert Hardy | 2 years ago

Canal and Rivers Trust are hellbent on getting as much money as possible from cycling-related grants, whilst making it has hard as possible for cyclists to actually use the canal towpaths

vthejk replied to Robert Hardy | 2 years ago

I think the error here is assuming that canal towpaths are good cycling infrastructure at all. They're not. They are substantially more inconvenient, less practical and more dangerous than any other form of segregated infra. That we have the 'privilege' of sharing them with pedestrians and other users is immaterial as they are simply not viable for many (ever try riding down one with a cargo bike? Or fully loaded panniers? Or with a hand injury? Or if taller than 6' and having to navigate one of the bridges? I can go on.)

The only good they serve in the planners' eyes is that they tuck cyclists neatly away out of sight, and out of mind.

the little onion replied to vthejk | 2 years ago

And don't forget those delicious overheads that Canal and Rivers Trust can scam from cycling related grants


brooksby | 2 years ago

Does that mean HE are finally realising that there isn't any barrier which can stop mopeds/motorcycles while not blocking bikes, wheelchairs, etc?

Have you got a URL for that statement?

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