Modifications to be made to kissing gates

MODIFICATIONS to council-designed kissing gates to include a lockable and unlockable section, in order to give greater access to park users in wheelchairs, on bikes and with buggies, are being examined by the local authority.

As reported in The Echo last week, a dozen complaints were lodged with South Dublin County Council in relation to the recent installation of kissing gates at the entrances to Dodder Valley Park.

Dodder Valley Gate 01 1

Four of these complaints raised concerns about the difficulty the gates can cause for wheelchair users trying to access the park.

At a recent meeting of the Rathfarnham, Templeogue, Firhouse and Bohernabreena Area Committee, Green Party councillor Clare O’Byrne asked the council what, if any, alternatives are being considered to the standard kissing gates that are being installed in the area.

The council said the installation of the gates is necessary to prevent people on quads and scrambler bikes gaining access to local parks, and as a result there is “a possible conflict” between the preventative nature of the gates and universal access to the park for people on bikes, in wheelchairs or with buggies.

The local authority stated: “The council has designed a kissing gate which gives maximum space to a legitimate user of the park passing through it. 

“It is currently being examined if this design can be modified to include a lockable/unlockable section which when unlocked can be moved to allow access for larger items. 

“What this would mean is that the adjustable section can be locked when scramblers need to be kept out, but it can be unlocked at times when there is no issue with scramblers. 

“It is hoped that this design can be finalised and trialled in the near future.”

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