Equality Impact Assessments for barriers on National Cycle Route 55

A. Sheridan made this Freedom of Information request to Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

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Dear Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council,

I write to you in relation to a series of barriers installed along the National Cycle Network (NCN) route 55, known as the Alan Newton Way and Middlewood Way, in the vicinity of Romiley and Marple, with specific reference to:

i) (53.4063241, -2.0912674), metal barrier and kissing gate impeding access to NCN 55 Alan Newton Way from Vale Road
ii) (53.4016722, -2.1030242), metal barrier impeding access to NCN 55 Alan Newton Way from Mill Lane/Dark Lane
iii) (53.4003430, -2.0857874), metal barrier and horse trap impeding access to NCN 55 Alan Newton Way from Hilltop Drive
iv) (53.3948731, -2.0772492), metal barrier and horse trap impeding access to NCN 55 Middlewood Way from Railway Road
v) (53.3909043, -2.0780518), metal barriers and horse traps impeding access to NCN 55 Middlewood Way from either side of the land off Wood Lane
vi) (53.3889628, -2.0784122), metal barriers impeding access to NCN 55 Middlewood Way from Woodville Drive
vii) (53.3670445, -2.0851114), wooden barrier impeding access to NCN 55 Middlewood Way from the A6 Buxton Road (eastbound/north side)
viii) (53.3668609, -2.0850002), metal barrier impeding access to NCN 55 Middlewood Way from the A6 Buxton Road (westbound/south side)

These barriers are not accessible for most bicycles due to the narrowness of the gap, and (where provided) the wooden horse traps are not accessible to users of adaptive cycles, such as handcycles, cargocycles and bicycles with tag-along trailers, or anyone who cannot dismount and lift their cycle over the obstacle.

The Highways England standard states that these types of A-frame or K-frame barriers should not be used at all as they prevent access by legitimate users of the path. Cycling UK advises against the use of such barriers.

I write to ask the following questions:

1) When were each of these sets of barriers installed?
2) Was an Equality Impact Assessment carried out at these locations, as required by the Equality Act 2010 S.149, prior to the installation of these barriers;
3) Could you please provide a copy of the Equality Impact Assessment(s);
4) Why was another kind of barrier not used?
5) Who installed these barriers?
6) Who approved these barriers?

As the routes form part of the signposted and advertised National Cycle Network, it is not unreasonable to expect cyclists, including disabled and adaptive cyclists, to wish to pass along here, as they are legally entitled to do.

The Equality Act 2010, Section 20 (https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/201...) contains a number of stipulations with regards to provisions, practices, criterion and physical features. These are legal obligations, and as such, not optional.

7) Please clarify how the installation of these barriers aligns with S.20(3), S.20(4), S.20(7), S.20(9) and S.20(10).

Thank you for your time and I look forward to your response.

Yours faithfully,

A. Sheridan

FOI Officer, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Sir/Madam,

Thank you for your request for information (FOI 5668805) submitted under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 which has been given the above-mentioned reference number. Please quote this on any correspondence regarding your request.

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Yours sincerely,

Daniel Adshead
Information Governance Apprentice
I: Stockport Council | 1st Floor South Stopford House | Stockport | SK1 3XE
:
: [email address]
d:http://www.stockport.gov.uk
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FOI Officer, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Mr / Ms Sheridan,

 

I am writing in response to your request for information (ref FOI 5668805
).

 

The relevant Council Service(s) has searched for the requested information
and our response is as follows.

                                  

I write to you in relation to a series of barriers installed along the
National Cycle Network (NCN) route 55, known as the Alan Newton Way and
Middlewood Way, in the vicinity of Romiley and Marple, with specific
reference to:

 

i) (53.4063241, -2.0912674), metal barrier and kissing gate impeding
access to NCN 55 Alan Newton Way from Vale Road

ii) (53.4016722, -2.1030242), metal barrier impeding access to NCN 55 Alan
Newton Way from Mill Lane/Dark Lane

iii) (53.4003430, -2.0857874), metal barrier and horse trap impeding
access to NCN 55 Alan Newton Way from Hilltop Drive

iv) (53.3948731, -2.0772492), metal barrier and horse trap impeding access
to NCN 55 Middlewood Way from Railway Road

v) (53.3909043, -2.0780518), metal barriers and horse traps impeding
access to NCN 55 Middlewood Way from either side of the land off Wood Lane

vi) (53.3889628, -2.0784122), metal barriers impeding access to NCN 55
Middlewood Way from Woodville Drive

vii) (53.3670445, -2.0851114), wooden barrier impeding access to NCN 55
Middlewood Way from the A6 Buxton Road (eastbound/north side)

viii) (53.3668609, -2.0850002), metal barrier impeding access to NCN 55
Middlewood Way from the A6 Buxton Road (westbound/south side)

 

These barriers are not accessible for most bicycles due to the narrowness
of the gap, and (where provided) the wooden horse traps are not accessible
to users of adaptive cycles, such as handcycles, cargocycles and bicycles
with tag-along trailers, or anyone who cannot dismount and lift their
cycle over the obstacle.

 

The Highways England standard states that these types of A-frame or
K-frame barriers should not be used at all as they prevent access by
legitimate users of the path. Cycling UK advises against the use of such
barriers.

 

I write to ask the following questions:

 

 1. When were each of these sets of barriers installed?

i)  It is believed to have been installed in 2012 as part of the Connect2
project. This replaced a 5 bar gate. The intention was to prevent
motorcycle and larger vehicle access. There was no existing issue as there
was no bridge prior to this.

All other accesses mentioned are believed to predate 2010, and some to be
much older. It is possible that like for like repairs may have been made.

 

 2. Was an Equality Impact Assessment carried out at these locations, as
required by the Equality Act 2010 S.149, prior to the installation of
these barriers;

No Equality Impact assessments were carried out on any installations pre
2010.

 3. Could you please provide a copy of the Equality Impact Assessment(s);

N/a see answer to question 2.

 4. Why was another kind of barrier not used?

These were standard installations at the time.

 5. Who installed these barriers?

We have been unable to find a record of this but it was likely to have
been a mixture of Greenspace and Highways departments depending on
location.

 6. Who approved these barriers?

We have been unable to find a record of this.

 

As the routes form part of the signposted and advertised National Cycle
Network, it is not unreasonable to expect cyclists, including disabled and
adaptive cyclists, to wish to pass along here, as they are legally
entitled to do.

 

The Equality Act 2010, Section 20
([1]https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/201...) contains a number of
stipulations with regards to provisions, practices, criterion and physical
features. These are legal obligations, and as such, not optional.

 

 7. Please clarify how the installation of these barriers aligns with
S.20(3), S.20(4), S.20(7), S.20(9) and S.20(10).

The barriers installed prior to 2010 may not comply with the requirements
of the act as listed.

Any new access controls are installed in compliance with the requirements
of the act.

 

 

 

If you are unhappy with the way we have handled your request for
information, you are entitled to ask for an internal review; however you
must do so within 40 working days of the date of this response. Any
internal review will be carried out by a senior member of staff who was
not involved with your original request. To ask for an internal review,
contact [2][email address] in the first instance.

                          

If you are unhappy with the outcome of any internal review, you are
entitled to complain to the Information Commissioner. To do so, contact:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

[3]www.ico.gov.uk

 

0303 123 1113

Yours sincerely,

 

Paul Metcalf

Information Governance Officer

+: Stockport Council | 1^st Floor South Stopford House | Stockport | SK1
3XE

( : 0161 474 4299

        0161 474 3315

*: [4][email address]

::[5]http://www.stockport.gov.uk

 

 

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References

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Dear FOI Officer,

Thank you for this response.

It is stated in response to query 1, concerning barrier i:

“It is believed to have been installed in 2012 as part of the Connect2 project.”

However under query 2, it is then only stated that:

“No Equality Impact assessments were carried out on any installations pre 2010.”

If no Equality Impact Assessment took place for the barrier installed in 2012 then, looking at its design, it is an illegal barrier and should be removed. Can you please clarify this point and that the relevant council department will take immediate and urgent action to remove the barrier in question.

Yours sincerely,

A. Sheridan

FOI Officer, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Mr/Ms Sheriden,

 

I am writing in response to your request for information (ref FOI 5668805
).

 

The relevant Council Service(s) has searched for the requested information
and our response is as follows.

                                  

Thank you for this response.

 

It is stated in response to query 1, concerning barrier i:

 

“It is believed to have been installed in 2012 as part of the Connect2
project.”

 

However under query 2, it is then only stated that:

 

“No Equality Impact assessments were carried out on any installations pre
2010.”

 

If no Equality Impact Assessment took place for the barrier installed in
2012 then, looking at its design, it is an illegal barrier and should be
removed. Can you please clarify this point and that the relevant council
department will take immediate and urgent action to remove the barrier in
question.

 

Whilst there may be aspirations for improvement to the barriers there is
no funding at the present time.

The Council will continue to keep this under review.

 

If you are unhappy with the way we have handled your request for
information, you are entitled to ask for an internal review; however you
must do so within 40 working days of the date of this response. Any
internal review will be carried out by a senior member of staff who was
not involved with your original request. To ask for an internal review,
contact [1][email address] in the first instance.

                          

If you are unhappy with the outcome of any internal review, you are
entitled to complain to the Information Commissioner. To do so, contact:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

[2]www.ico.gov.uk

 

0303 123 1113

Yours sincerely,

 

Paul Metcalf

Information Governance Officer

+: Stockport Council | 1^st Floor South Stopford House | Stockport | SK1
3XE

( : 0161 474 4299

        0161 474 3315

*: [3][email address]

::[4]http://www.stockport.gov.uk

 

Confidentiality:- This email, its contents and any attachments are
intended only for the above named. As the email may contain confidential
or legally privileged information, if you are not, or suspect that you are
not, the above named or the person responsible for delivery of the message
to the above named, please delete or destroy the email and any attachments
immediately and inform the sender of the error.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.ico.gov.uk/
http://www.ico.gov.uk/
3. mailto:[email address]
4. http://www.stockport.gov.uk/

Dear FOI Officer,

Thank you so much for your time chasing this, though I’m sorry but this still fails to address a key query.

This barrier (Alan Newton Way at Chadkirk, Romiley) was installed in 2012.

Can you either provide a copy of the Equality Impact Assessment that took place, or clearly confirm that none took place? All installations after 2010 should be subject to this, as stated by the council itself.

(If no EIA took place, it’s not a matter of money, this barrier would therefore be illegal and should be removed. The council just spent £3k on barriers for the A555 route, so how can no money be available for this?)

Yours sincerely,

A. Sheridan

FOI Officer, Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear Mr/Ms Sheriden,

 

I am writing in response to your request for information (ref FOI
5668805).

 

The relevant Council Service(s) has searched for the requested information
and our response is as follows.

                                  

This barrier (Alan Newton Way at Chadkirk, Romiley) was installed in 2012.

 

Can you either provide a copy of the Equality Impact Assessment that took
place, or clearly confirm that none took place? All installations after
2010 should be subject to this, as stated by the council itself.

 

(If no EIA took place, it’s not a matter of money, this barrier would
therefore be illegal and should be removed. The council just spent £3k on
barriers for the A555 route, so how can no money be available for this?)

 

The service has advised that the bridge including the design & access
statements were submitted for planning permission on the 20/11/2009 when
the legislation wasn’t in place, approval for the scheme also pre dates
the  requirement for an EIA, so no Equality Impact Assessment undertaken.

 

The Council advise that the barrier formed part of a scheme for which
planning permission was granted prior to the section 149 duty coming into
force and so section 149 didn’t apply.  Even if section 149 applied, if
the Council, although it didn’t specifically carry out an equalities
impact assessment, gave due regard to its obligations under section 149 by
considering the effects of the barrier on all users of the route, with its
powers under section 4 Cycle Tracks Act and concluded that such a barrier
was necessary to safeguard the public’s use of the route, it would have
acted within its powers.

 

 

If you are unhappy with the way we have handled your request for
information, you are entitled to ask for an internal review; however you
must do so within 40 working days of the date of this response. Any
internal review will be carried out by a senior member of staff who was
not involved with your original request. To ask for an internal review,
contact [1][email address] in the first instance.

                          

If you are unhappy with the outcome of any internal review, you are
entitled to complain to the Information Commissioner. To do so, contact:

 

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

[2]www.ico.gov.uk

 

0303 123 1113

Yours sincerely,

 

Paul Metcalf

Information Governance Officer

+: Stockport Council | 1^st Floor South Stopford House | Stockport | SK1
3XE

( : 0161 474 4299

        0161 474 3315

*: [3][email address]

::[4]http://www.stockport.gov.uk

 

Confidentiality:- This email, its contents and any attachments are
intended only for the above named. As the email may contain confidential
or legally privileged information, if you are not, or suspect that you are
not, the above named or the person responsible for delivery of the message
to the above named, please delete or destroy the email and any attachments
immediately and inform the sender of the error.

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
mailto:[email address]
2. http://www.ico.gov.uk/
http://www.ico.gov.uk/
3. mailto:[email address]
4. http://www.stockport.gov.uk/