Cycling charity demands removal of barricades on routes

The cycling charity Sustrans has been demanding the removal of barriers on the National Cycle Network.

The National Cycle Network is a UK-wide network of signed paths and routes for walking, wheeling, cycling, and exploring outdoors. Sustrans is responsible for developing and maintaining these routes of which around one and a half thousand miles are in Wales.

Stephen Cunnan is the regional manager of Sustrans. He says barricades prevent users from accessing and using the routes.

“Many of the bikes for example are not standard up-right bikes. You have people on the recumbent bikes, who may have a certain disability which makes it easier for them to sit down or they may prefer it. You have people with trailers, maybe they are taking their children to school,” he adds.

Barriers such as chicanes, and gates among others also affect people who cannot get off their cycle to maneuver through or around them as they may need more space to turn and pass through gaps.

There are a few reasons why barriers are used on these routes. Sometimes they’re used to keep livestock off the paths. For example, cattle grids and gates are often used to make sure farm animals can’t wander onto the route. Another reason for these to be installed on the routes is to keep motor vehicles off these walking and cycling.

The Welsh government says that these are important as the barriers usually keep illegitimate users from accessing the routes.