Q&As

Are there any rights of way for pedestrians around/alongside security barriers, ie does sufficient space have to be provided for a safe crossing away from barriers?

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Produced in partnership with Alastair Frew of Lodders Solicitors
Published on LexisPSL on 21/01/2019

The following Planning Q&A produced in partnership with Alastair Frew of Lodders Solicitors provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Are there any rights of way for pedestrians around/alongside security barriers, ie does sufficient space have to be provided for a safe crossing away from barriers?

Are there any rights of way for pedestrians around/alongside security barriers, ie does sufficient space have to be provided for a safe crossing away from barriers?

The simple answer to this question is—no, provided that the security barrier is safe for pedestrian access.

A security barrier is typically a gate, made up of a rising arm, or swinging horizontally from a fixed hinge. It is perfectly possible for a security barrier to be safe for vehicles and pedestrians, but they are generally engineered to be suitable only for one of these two purposes.

A security barrier which is designed to prevent vehicles is not ideal for preventing pedestrians from passing. Cars and people are so different in size and mobility, that it is easier to install two gates of different types.

From a security perspective, a simple vehicular gate will not keep pedestrians out.

Much more importantly, a vehicular gate can be very dangerous to pedestrians. A rising barrier can easily fall onto a pedestrian, while a swing gate is a crush hazard for a pedestrian. In each case, the technology employed to trigger an automatic gate mechanism is designed to detect vehicles and typically does not detect pedestrians.

In the Health and Safety Executive’s Health and Safety bulletin dated 26 February 2010, the tragic death of a

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