Kissing Gates

Kiss the Gates Goodbye - Equitable Access for All

A large number of parks in Dublin have restricted access due to the presence of barriers such as kissing gates. While some specific areas have problems with antisocial behavior, the discriminatory and blanket use of such barriers excludes members of our society from utilising these great facilities.

We need alternative solutions to these restrictive installations. The solutions should allow access for all cyclists regardless of the nature of the cycle they use, and for wheelchair and other mobility aid users as well as buggies. The advent of e-mobility further opens up opportunities for people of all abilities and ages to use the parks with their cycles. The parks can provide a lovely safe environment for less confident people cycling as well as providing important commuter / permeability routes.

An able bodied person of strength may be able to navigate their standard bike through the Kissing Gates. Unfortunately, however, we have witnessed and heard from members of the community who struggle and fail to navigate the gates with cargo bikes, e-bikes, a standard cycle with panniers, a bike with a child’s seat attached to name but a few. Similarly we know there are many members of the community who are in non-standard wheelchairs or other mobility aids who likewise cannot enter the parks. There are often long delays as well when gates have to be navigated by large numbers of people as we have observed over the past year.

If your access to parks is restricted by kissing gates, then write to your local councillors to tell them the impact the kissing gates have on you and ask for a commitment that:

  • any existing discriminatory gates, fences or entrances are to be phased out and replaced as soon as possible
  • any new entrances to parks will not be discriminatory.

Find out who you councillors are at www.whoismytd.com

Where bollards are to be provided at an entrance a minimum gap of 1.5m should be provided between them to accommodate Cycling Without Age trishaws and other oversized cycles. Where bollards are provided, they must be visible in dark and low light conditions and not located directly beside junctions or on ramps or inclines or bends — non-compliant barriers should be replaced or re-positioned.

There will inevitably be situations where access will require control, e.g. at certain times. In this scenario it is imperative the access control is not discriminatory and when the park is open it should be open for all.

We therefore implore that these barriers are removed, at least for now, in areas where there is no ongoing anti-social behaviour. We refer to Section 1.2.5 of the National Cycling Manual:

  • Comfort: ‘Cycling infrastructure should be designed, built and maintained for ease of use and for comfort. This is particularly important for beginners, tourists and recreational cyclists.
  • Anything that causes discomfort or delay, or requires a disproportionate amount of effort, is likely to result in the cycling facility not being used.’
  • Stopping and Delays: Minimise the number of obstructions or detours that impact on the cycling momentum

In areas with on-going anti-social behaviour discriminatory entrances should be removed and it may also be appropriate to

  • replace them with controlled access points that allow equal access (e.g. manual or electric gates that shut at certain times or can be shut remotely)
  • use monitored trial periods to demonstrate the success of alternative entrances and measures.
  • Provide alternative amenities for young people, such as BMX tracks and skate parks.


K gate trial currently running in Mulhuddart-Castleknock area

A recent question by Cllr James Humphreys inquiring about alternatives to kissing gates at a recent Fingal County council meeting.

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