The planned removal of three kissing gates in Galway City has been welcomed, but more and faster action is needed, according to local campaigners.
Kissing gates are often installed with the claim that they block illegal use of shared paths and other cycle routes, but usually they most affect legitimate users including disabled people using wheelchairs or mobility devices, people with larger prams, and those using larger bicycles or bike trailers.
According to a local newspaper, the Connacht Tribune, Galway City Council is to remove three kissing gates by the end of this year. The three are two at South Park in Claddagh and one at Terryland.
Reg Turner, chairperson of the Galway Cycling Campaign, said: “We welcome the news but we need more progress for all users of these public spaces.”
He said: “Kissing gates serve very little purpose. They make it more difficult for people with mobility issues. They essentially lock electric wheelchair users out of many public spaces.”
Dave Corley, a Galway-based OpenStreetMap advocate, and creator of the Barriers2Galway map, said: “Galway City Council are to remove 3 kissing gates. While welcome, it’s a drop in the ocean, still over 70 left to remove, check the map.”
In a separate article published on IrishCycle.com today, Corley outlines how the Barriers2Galway project has mapped 70+ Kissing gates, 60+ locations with only 1 footpath, 20+ locations with no footpaths and 55+ other barriers (blue) such as stiles, path barriers, steps and narrow gaps.