What cycle route barriers get in your way?

Calling all users of greenways and other cyclic routes: What barriers on cycle routes get in your way? What kind of barriers and where are they located?

Are you blocked fully from using the route or how do the barriers hinder you? 

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We are looking to see how big of an issue this is for readers wheather they are on bicycles, pushing prams, on wheelchairs or using other mobility devices… Please comment below:


  1. Firhouse Weir Bridge by Mortons pub. N81 dual Carriageway at Sean Walsh Park. Recycling facilities at other end of Sean Walsh Park. Sandyford luas area heading towards the junction formerly known as Leopardstown roundabout.

    The Grand Canal has loads of kissing gates. Actually avoid using that entire route and use the road instead as a result. Understand it’s due to antisocial behaviour,but doesn’t excuse awful design.

    No bike with panniers can get through the gates, no mobility scooters or wheelchairs can get through, and no way a cargo bike would get through. Panniers have to be taken off, one by one, bike taken awkwardly through gate, vertically. I’ve to then go back to pick up panniers. Panniers must then be placed back onto bike. Makes for a really unpleasant experience

    Going to Bohernabreena Reservoir, coming from Kiltipper, there’s also a gate which prevents bikes, cargo bikes or wheelchairs of a certain width from entering the park from the nursing home. You have to take the bike through vertically on one wheel, also take off panniers.

    Dodder River Bank Park which connects Old Bawn/Seskin View Road and Firhouse, there are gates on the Tallaght side by Avonmore and on the Firhouse side by Supervalu. I’m sure there’s hundreds more

  2. Cycle along the footpaths between Enfield and Leixlip, they the gates are not a big issue, the new ones fitted on the footpath in Kilcock are great you can cycle through them so you don’t have to dismount. In time it would be nice if they were all updated to match these but get the Royal Canal pathway finished first.

  3. Its a mix if cars or vans but alot of the time the bike path on the comer road in Kilkenny city (across from Newpark Hotel) is constantly being used as parking. It’s lethar as when I’m cycling, I have to go around the twats into oncoming traffic and hope I don’t get hit from cars coming up behind me. Ive taken photos and contacted the guards. I assume they dont give a toss or the cars/vans wouldn’t be parked. It’s beyond frustrating.

  4. Kissing gates are a big problem. They’re a favourite fetish of local authorities, eg Galway City Council, who cite motorbikes as the reason for impeding cyclists on car-free routes. Yet motorcyclists are just 1% of the modal split, and the same councils blithely ignore a far bigger problem, ie the abuse of footpaths and cycleways by drivers (70% of modal split).

    Other obstacles include signage (temporary and permanent), road closures without filtered permeability, closed-off alleyways, unnecessary detours (seen on greenways) and gratuitous designs with Cyclists Dismount signs, eg the humpback bridge on the Mulranny-Achill greenway.

  5. Grand canal greenway in general, the whole way from Lucan to Inchicore. Difficult for buggies and bigger bikes, impossible for a cargo bike. Also after that along the next stretch after Goldenbridge luas stop, there’s only a kissing gate and often a queue to get through.

  6. Kissing gates are a nuisance on the Grand Canal greenway from 3rd. to 12th lock, but maybe needed to address antisocial behaviour. However are they stopping ponies and traps getting in? – I don’t think so. Can something other than kissing gates be designed that stop antisocial behaviour?

  7. Kissing gates again:
    Slane River cycleway out to Marlay Park from Sandyford Road. Bunch of kissing gates near the sports ground that are impassable with a cargo bike or a trailer, so you have to cycle through the estates to the north of the cycleway to get to the other side and rejoin the cycleway at Hillview Grove. Then there are two more sets of gates that, while actually passable, require a bit of advanced geometry.

  8. tandems, cargo bikes, recumbents, tricycles and trailers are all screwed where there are kissing gates. Please note these are the cycles most likely to be used by blind, infirm and the less able, the very people we should be encouraging to cycle.
    Lucan to Inchicore a disaster. Gates on many greenways very awkward for tandems,instead of gates at an angle line them up with direction of travel. Kissing gates do nothing to stop ponies and sulkies as evidenced by all the horse crap on the paths. Trying to contact Waterways about cars accessing arthurs way impossible,they never answer the phone.

  9. I don’t find the kissing gates along the Royal Canal much hassle, but I can see how they would be for anyone with a non-standard bike, or someone with limited mobility or strength. There’s one near the new bridge at Ashtown that’s just a foot shorter than usual, and it’s really annoying as the bike will only fit through if you angle it *just* right.

    On the other hand, I don’t see the point of the kissing gates. Nominally they’re to stop access by motorbikes, but people just lift them over the barriers. Only last Thursday there were two motorbikes going up and down the canal near Broombridge. And now one can attach a motor to a regular bike, the kissing gates are no barrier to them.

    Take away the kissing gates and add some patrols or ensure there’s a responsive Garda presence if people are using motors along the canal.

  10. If the cycleways had clear signage stating what is allowed and what is prohibited it might deter some of the prohibited users such as the car drivers who insist on access to arthurs way near Lyons to let them know there is a barrier ahead of them. telling those on large motor cycles which can get through the gates that it is a cycleway can lead to unpleasantness.

  11. Along the grand canal, the Council replaced most of the kissing gates with supposedly bicycle-friendly gates. Impossible to get through them with panniers on the bike. The general width of the gates are too narrow for my handle bars, so I have to manipulate the front part of the bike through also.

    Kissing gates in Griffeen Valley Park, Lucan are a pain, as are those which lead to access to the Grand Canal Greenroute.

    I find it hard to understand how these are in compliance with the Equal Status Act given that people with disabilities—for example, those who require three-wheeled bikes—are prevented from using the service, which is the green route.

  12. The design of the Grand canal barriers are an absolute disgrace. Going through them has even resulted in my bike being scraped. They are a monument to the inept design thinking within Council authorities.

  13. It’s quite obvious that most of the people approving infrastructure projects in Ireland have never actually used that infrastructure. Project designers approving cycle routes should be regular cyclists and approvers of motoring routes should be regular drivers. Unelected officials making decisions based on their personal taste instead of the greater good should be stopped immediately. Public money is being used and these nameless officials should be made explain why they chose project A over project B. Are they forced to declare any conflicts of interest etc?

  14. North side canal has too many, especially around Ashtown.
    Clonsila has a serious amount of these tiny gates, I would say around 15, that make manoeuvring my own hometown incredibly difficult.

  15. Illegal gates on the Royal Canal from Maynooth to the Westmeath border (things get a lot better from there!) Erected (I imagine) by farmers – any other country they’d be made remove them. Pains in the arms lifting bikes (n Bags) over them…
    That was a year ago, maybe things have changed?

  16. Kissing gates are really annoying on the Grand Canal from Inchicore. I understand that they have been mandated by Waterways Ireland who are very intransigent.
    The pinch point between Blackrock Dart and Blackrock park only allows one bike ( or buggy) to use its 70m stretch, causing conflicts and upset between cyclists and pedestrians. Hopefully the sale of house and gardens and its planned redevelopment will resolve this
    Paddy Mulhern

    • waterways ireland or watterweys iarlann as they call themselves up north where they have their headquarters are responsible for arthurs way from hazelhatch past lyons estate, there are kissing gates but kildare cc have insisted the gates be left open 1.2m so passage is easy. unfortunately the gate beyond lyons is left open at present so cars are trying to use it as a shortcut and are not at all happy when they find the second gate locked. a sign stating that it is a cycleway would be an advantage.


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