Those who cycle, or would like to cycle, across Hob Moor got an early Christmas present today (21st December 2021) as the steel foot plates at the perimeter gates of Hob Moor were removed and replaced with level tarmac.
Long despised by those that have to use them, we first wrote about the issue of the Hob Moor Barriers in December 2020 when campaign member Jamie put in a Freedom of Information request about the barriers. Jamie uses a trike as a mobility aid, but the three wheeled arrangement meant he couldn’t get through these unique barriers. A side gate with Radar key is available but, as the below video demonstrates, this was never a suitable alternative for accessibility.
We caught up with Jamie today, who told us what he thought about the today’s news; ‘I am pleased, surprised and impressed that the discriminatory footplates around the Hobmoor barriers are being removed. It would be easy to say things such as “it’s about time” and so forth, but I think today must be for the positives. Congratulations to the active transport team at the council for piloting this through to removal and congratulations to local councillors for continuing to pursue this and to see past the warped logic that underpinned its installation. My hope, and increasingly my expectation, is that the council will now use guidance and impact assessments on all future works The failure to do this over the last 10-15 years will take years to put right and is one of many contributory factors that has seen cycling levels drop since 2014. But with the removal of these emblematic footplates, progress has begun.’
It’s not just Jamie who’s pleased to see the back of the traps, many have been expressing their delight at the changes to the barriers;
‘Great! The amount of times I’ve had to rag the kid trailer through!’
‘Step in the right direction. Nightmare on a fixie. Same on the riverside path at Jubilee Terrace would be great.’
‘Much appreciated – a lot more navigable with a cargo bike, especially when full of cargo.’
‘A good start’
York Cycle Campaign sees the removal of the footplates at Hob Moor as a good start towards ensuring an accessible cycling for many more users, and would like to thank those that made it happen.
However it is just a start, the A-frames go against LTN 1-20 and British Standards for accessibility, and the overall width of the gate will still prevent some users with the widest cycles. To be fully accessible the entire barrier arrangement at Hob Moor, and many other sites around York, will need redesigning to something more similar to arrangement seen at the York University entrance of Walmgate Stray.
If things like this matter to you then please join us. Every member of the Campaign helps raise our profile and there’s plenty of way you can get involved from raising issues with infrastructure, helping to organise events, and representing the campaign.