Fingal County Council has been called on to remove ‘kissing gates’ at entrances to parks as they deny access to some people with disabilities.
Social Democrats councillor Joan Hopkins raised the issue at this month’s council meeting.
She tabled the question, asking the local authority: ” To report on its policy of the continued use of kissing gates in public spaces and how their use can be continued with reference to No137/2007 of the European Parliament and the Council of 23 Oct 2007 on rights and obligations gives disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility the following rights: ‘Disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility have the right to non-discriminatory access to public spaces’.”
In it’s reply the council said it will being phasing out kissing gates in the coming years.
“Kissing gates were installed at various parks and open spaces around the county primarily to stop scrambler bikes accessing the parks.
“While most push pedal bikes and indeed smaller prams and buggies can readily navigate the kissing gates, they do present an obstruction to some wheelchair and buggy users.
“A number of alternative gate types have been trialled to prevent unauthorised access to parks and open spaces and to allow wheelchair access none have proven to be wholly successful.
“The council would like to be in a position to phase out kissing gates in our parks and open spaces over the coming years.
“In this regard it is proposed to trial the ‘K’ gate at a number of locations in the Dublin 15 area.”
A K-entrance gate is a twin leaf, flat panel gate with a large enough access point for pedestrians and cyclists, but too small for scramber bikes or motorbikes to gain entry.