Barrier Management, Review and Redesign

Barriers typically exist on Public Rights of Way (PRoW) for two main reasons: to warn/slow users at the approach of a percieved point of danger, and to contain livestock. Once in place however, many outlive their purpose, yet remain as permanent landscape features. Many others that do need to remain are poorly designed for purpose, without careful consideration of the needs of the full range of entitled users.

One way or another, the continued existence of such barriers 
prohibits access for many wheelchair and scooter users, parents with larger prams or buggies, and today also users of e-cargo bikes, all of whom are legally entitled to use the PRoW that they cross.


Designing for all is not always straightforward. It should however always be the starting point of any design, construction and installation process.


This page provides support and guidance for those concerned with barrier review, improvement or removal, with the aim of optimising access for all.


To find new things, take the path you took yesterday (John Burroughs, 1837-1921)

Design specifications and available products

Scottish Natural Heritage: Countryside Access Design Guide:

A series of technical specification sheets on accessible pathway and barrier design (best options), including for example:



Paths for All (for a healthier, happier Scotland):

Extensive downloadable guidance on pathway design for rural settings, and have developed two  demonstration sites (for path types and barriers) , as detailed here:


Lake District National Park: Structures Standards Approved (2011)

Some examples of barrier types available on the market

 Medium / large acessible kissing gate:

Large kissing gate with radar key option for full access by larger chairs and scooters 

Two-way self-closing gates with easy-access latch.



Local Walk/Cycle Barrier Audits

  • Colchester Orbital barrier audit (PDF: walking route only, PDF)

    This audit formed part of the early development of the Orbital route and remains an active document, upon which efforts to improve this major aspect of Orbital accessibility are founded.


  • Colchester Borough barrier audit (Google Map: foot and cycle paths)

    This map is a live map to which members of Colchester's walking, cycling and e-cargo bike communities are gently contributing as they go about their journeys!  It includes and expands upon those barriers identified in the Orbital audit above. Its purpose is to build a picture of barriers in the borough, old and new, and to identify those most problematic or redundant with a view to their eventual redesign or removal. It is vehicle for ongoing collab
    oration and discussion around this issue.