Gates & Stiles to go in Politically Correct Countryside

#1
HERE
The Times said:
November 30, 2007

Farms kiss goodbye to stiles and gates to allow wheelchair access
Valerie Elliott, Countryside Editor

Related Link
Isn’t the countryside meant to be untamed?

Stiles and kissing gates are the latest aspects of country life to fall victim to political correctness.

They have been a familiar feature of the landscape for centuries, but local authorities now believe that installing them along footpaths and rights of way is a breach of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.

This law requires public services to make “reasonable adjustments” to allow disabled access.

A number of councils have identified stiles and kissing gates as obstructions for people with mobility problems or with visual impairments. Some want stiles banned and kissing gates replaced by larger ones that allow wheelchair access.


The move is also part of the Government’s attempt to encourage more people to visit the countryside and to learn more about farms and the provenance of food.

Some parish councils are concerned about the look of new gates and about losing long-established stiles over fences, walls and hedgerows.

Farmers are questioning why they should pay for new access points when some are used just three or four times a year.

Suffolk County Council is looking at replacement gates that will allow wheelchair access but keep livestock secure. Guy McGregor, the Conservative council member responsible for roads and transport, said: “We have an obligation to provide access to footpaths for everyone. The problem is that many kissing gates are virtually impossible to use if you are in a wheelchair. Stiles are no use for people in wheelchairs and are just as difficult for parents with children in buggies.There are landowners who are not interested in any access at all and so where there are rights of way it is down to the council to pay and install gates. The larger kissing gates cost £250 and there are hundreds that need replacement throughout the county. Yet our transport grant has been cut by £1.5 million this year.”

John Collen, a cattle farmer and chairman of the National Farmers’ Union in Suffolk, is concerned about the risk of animals escaping. “Kissing gates do a splendid job keeping livestock secure and allowing public access. It is difficult to see what alternatives there could be,” he said.

He added: “A lot of footpaths crossing fields are unsuitable for wheelchairs. Are we going to see paths across fields hard-surfaced so they can be used by wheelchairs at any time?” The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said that it did not expect all gates to be replaced overnight. It said: “Where a kissing gate or stile is an historic feature there is no reason why it could not be left in place alongside a structure that is easier to use for those with mobility problems.”
No doubt farmers will be required to construct paved, non-slip paths so that wheelchair and crutch users don't get bogged down :roll:
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#2
They should be rubberised paths too - HSE will need to inspect them to make sure that a falling mlaar will not crack their heads open, and of course, you'll need to remove the teeth of any cows, and giver them some soft rubber booties too.
 
#4
...the Government’s attempt to encourage more people to visit the countryside ...
...and what fucking business is it of theirs who visits the countryside? Most of us stopped asking: "Teacher, teacher, can I go wee-wee?" a long time ago, but these bloody creatures want to control us to the point where they hold the willys. Well, they can f off and play with their own. Cnts.
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#5
I'm waiting for some careless and stupid farmer getting done in court because he failed to ensure that his animals could not injure someone - you know it's going to happen!

"Have YOU been trampled by a herd of cows? Have YOU been frightened by a horse? Call Ambulance Chasers on 0800 Give-me-some-fcuking-money TODAY for your no-win, no-fee claim!"
 
#6
I have to say this makes me laugh.

One of the councils just on the outskirt of Bristol has already done this and the mind boggles as to what they thought they'd achieve when they made a disabled access gate to the entrance of a path that is a foot and a half wide running 5 foot above a fast flowing river. The path becomes thick mud when there has been rain and is a serious struggle to get along even with legs, the dogs frequently slide off and end up swimming (although I suspect this is merely a ploy to go for a swim!). :roll:

Perhaps each council needs to have a disabled access team to go and test routes before wasting money on these gates.
 

Alsacien

MIA
Moderator
#7
gentlesoul said:
I have to say this makes me laugh.

One of the councils just on the outskirt of Bristol has already done this and the mind boggles as to what they thought they'd achieve when they made a disabled access gate to the entrance of a path that is a foot and a half wide running 5 foot above a fast flowing river. The path becomes thick mud when there has been rain and is a serious struggle to get along even with legs, the dogs frequently slide off and end up swimming (although I suspect this is merely a ploy to go for a swim!). :roll:

Perhaps each council needs to have a disabled access team to go and test routes before wasting money on these gates.
Standby for a 4ft wide gravel track and suspension bridge over the river.....and don't forget charging points for electric wheelchairs
 
#8
Riding a mountain bike on a narrow, rarely used footpath - technically illegal

Tearing up a footpath on a 4wd electrically powered spaz chariot - legal, and positivley encouraged by building a feck off 2 metre wide path for them, cant have any lumps or bumps mind, they might roll over and get trapped, with noone to hear them mlarring for help!


The lunatics have taken over the asylum, and then gone out for a ramble in the sunshine bus!
 
#9
A lot of the time, the farmer is able to access some kind of funding for footpaths and their upkeep. So if you are going to work on a path, and you have funding, what the big deal about putting a gate in that works for all? It may not just be a wheelchair, but a baby buggy for example. It's your money they're spending so why not make it accessable to all?
 
#10
I just read this article - absolutely ridiculous!! Keep the countryside for those who value it's traditions - there are plenty of places for wheelchair users to go. Have the govenment lost ANY sense of pragmatism?? They will be saying rescue helicopters should whirl around looking for walkers in trouble next - it's bad enough idiots going up mountains inadequately equipped without the government encouraging them. I am all for diversity and inclusiveness where practical but the British countryside has centuries of traditions which we want to keep
 

Alsacien

MIA
Moderator
#11
sanchauk said:
A lot of the time, the farmer is able to access some kind of funding for footpaths and their upkeep. So if you are going to work on a path, and you have funding, what the big deal about putting a gate in that works for all? It may not just be a wheelchair, but a baby buggy for example. It's your money they're spending so why not make it accessable to all?
'cos when you have done it someone will realise that its actually not safe for a wheelchair bound person to be there - then the H and S stupidity kicks off and before you know it there is rubberised runway in place of a hedgerow - then the environmentalists kick off...........etc etc etc
 
#12
Alsacien said:
Standby for a 4ft wide gravel track and suspension bridge over the river.....and don't forget charging points for electric wheelchairs
You know what'll happen next..................... Council costs it out, discovers it's too expensive and shuts the path to everyone, in the name of equal oppertunity!! :evil:

I look forward to the stenna stairlift up the 3 peaks, in Yorkshire next.
 
#13
Drummer_Boy said:
Alsacien said:
Standby for a 4ft wide gravel track and suspension bridge over the river.....and don't forget charging points for electric wheelchairs
You know what'll happen next..................... Council costs it out, discovers it's too expensive and shuts the path to everyone, in the name of equal oppertunity!! :evil:

I look forward to the stenna stairlift up the 3 peaks, in Yorkshire next.
There's already one up Snowdon ;)
 
#14
sanchauk said:
A lot of the time, the farmer is able to access some kind of funding for footpaths and their upkeep. So if you are going to work on a path, and you have funding, what the big deal about putting a gate in that works for all? It may not just be a wheelchair, but a baby buggy for example. It's your money they're spending so why not make it accessable to all?


You know what'll happen though. Take the path I described (one that I would not take a toddler down). Wheelchair user gains access through said gate, slides off the path, ends up in river, sues farmer/council because there was a gate that allowed wheelchair access to the path ergo the path should be suitable for wheelchair users.

It's not rocket science, you can't pave the British countryside. There has to be a limit somewhere.
 
#16
gentlesoul said:
I have to say this makes me laugh.

One of the councils just on the outskirt of Bristol has already done this and the mind boggles as to what they thought they'd achieve when they made a disabled access gate to the entrance of a path that is a foot and a half wide running 5 foot above a fast flowing river. The path becomes thick mud when there has been rain and is a serious struggle to get along even with legs, the dogs frequently slide off and end up swimming (although I suspect this is merely a ploy to go for a swim!). :roll:

Perhaps each council needs to have a disabled access team to go and test routes before wasting money on these gates.
In fairness perhaps there are some places that this could be achieved ie a wheelchair can get somewhere safely. Remember- some of these people may have been crippled (can I use that word?) in Iraq or Afghan!
In such an example that you give here it would be ridiculous and could place a mlarr in a dangerous situation. Councils could get sued for not providing access then sued for providing access to a dangerous situation. It will happen.
 
#17
You know what'll happen though. Take the path I described (one that I would not take a toddler down). Wheelchair user gains access through said gate, slides off the path, ends up in river, sues farmer/council because there was a gate that allowed wheelchair access to the path ergo the path should be suitable for wheelchair users.

It's not rocket science, you can't pave the British countryside. There has to be a limit somewhere.
I'm with you on that one, but a lot of the time a farmer is eligible for an annual track maintenance grant. What I'm trying to say is that a lot of the time taxpayers money is doled to build and maintain rights of way, but isn't used for said purpose.

Edited to add, i get around 800 quid a year for track maintenance...and honestly gov'nor I spent every penny on tracks 8O
 
#18
It's only a matter of time before some disabled bod sues a landowner for letting them go places they were blatantly unsuited to going by providing spaz-friendly access.

"If you hadn't made it so easy for me to get my Shopmobility go-cart up the side of Snaefell, I would never have got bogged down on the hillside in the middle of that blizzard. I want compensation."

Or, as they'd put it, "MLAAAARRR!" I think that says it all.
 
#19
Just wait for the stampede of cattle after they discover the BFO gate has been left open, trampling ramblers left right and centre... hang on...

No wait, lose the livestock so there's no danger of Daisy/Rambler interface. And of course that means no cowpats that could cause someone to slip/wheelchair to skid: jobs(worths) a good 'un.

It's bad enough as it is with the hard of thinking believing that the UK countryside is one big Centre Parc environment and bimbling up Snowdon/Cairngorm in shorts and flipflops with a bottle of Vimto, and then screaming for help when it starts to drizzle.

The interview on R4 this morning had a 'representative' claiming that only 1-2% of the countryside was accessible to disabled/pushchair. That's because it is. Sorry. Even the super-dooperist pushchair or wheelchair/scooter can't deal with mud/rocks/narrow paths/sand etc. So you either pave the lot (thus losing the countryside that everyone wants to 'access') or you accept that it isn't practical to take a pushchair up the West Highland Way and get a grip. I accept that it's not practical for me to climb a sheer rockface, so I don't. Same goes for swimming the channel. I can physically walk up a hill or go for a paddle so thats what I do.
 
#20
sanchauk said:
A lot of the time, the farmer is able to access some kind of funding for footpaths and their upkeep. So if you are going to work on a path, and you have funding, what the big deal about putting a gate in that works for all? It may not just be a wheelchair, but a baby buggy for example. It's your money they're spending so why not make it accessable to all?
Although I'm sure that some farmers abuse the grant system for all it's worth (after all, if someone told you that you could claim £££s for doing fcuk all, I'm sure you'd be too polite to ask for it). However, most of them have better things to do with their time than pishing around replacing stiles with wheelchair friendly gates and footpaths with miniature motorways.

Going off on a tangent: if we do tarmac all of our mountain paths, the government and developers will soon be able to claim that there's no 'environment' left to suffer impacts and therefore build houses, roads, factories etc. wherever they like.
 

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