BS 5709:2001 pdf download – Gaps, gates and stiles — Specification
In general terms the principle of applying the least restrictive option means that a path crossing a field boundary shall in the first instance be through a gap (see 4.1 and 4.2). If a gap is inappropriate, for example because of the need to control livestock, the second choice shall be a gate (see 4.1 and 4.3), which is easy to operate in both directions of travel by all people entitled to use the path. If a gate is inappropriate, a kissing gate (see 4.1 and 4.4) shall be chosen. Stiles shall only be used for new structures when exceptional circumstances require them. With the exception of horse stiles (see 4.5.4), this standard is aimed at the repair and refurbishment of existing stiles.
NOTE 3 As no single structure provides access across field boundaries that is satisfactory in all situations, this standard provides a hierarchy of performance requirements to enable choices to be made as to which structure is most appropriate.
3.2 Choice of structure Where there are no explicitly identified counter reasons, the type of structure chosen shall be the least restrictive option in accordance with the following list (displayed in least restrictive option order):
a) gap;
b) gate;
c) kissing gate;
d) stile.
Table 1 shows the performance normally to be expected from the structures listed in their order of preference.
4 Performance requirements for gaps and structures
4.1 General requirements applicable to all gaps and structures
4.1.1 There shall be no barbed wire, or electric fencing capable of giving a shock, inside the gap or structure or within 1 m of the gap or structure or of the manoeuvring space.
4.1.2 Any finger or direction post carrying a protruding direction sign shall not form part of the stile or gate post, but shall be mounted separately so that the direction arm cannot overhang the gap or structure or intrude into the manoeuvring space.
4.1.3 The ground within 1 m of the structure and the ground through the structure shall be kept free of surface water (except immediately after rain), and provide a firm surface.
4.1.4 Where the structure abuts a vehicular road the structure shall be set back at least 4 m from the carriageway for bridleways and at least 2 m for footpaths to allow users to access and traverse the structure without risk of being struck by vehicles. For footpaths likely to be used by groups of walkers and in all cases where a footpath directly crosses a road (i.e. to another path), the structure shall be set back 4 m.
4.1.5 The structure shall contain no projections such as bolts likely to catch on the clothing of path users or to injure people or animals. All edges likely to come into contact with the user shall be rounded to a radius no sharper than 2 mm or chamfered with at least a 3 mm flat. Protrusions integral to the design (e.g. latches) shall be rounded, e.g. using “D” loops.
4.1.6 Where moving parts of the structure could trap fingers, for instance at the gate closure line, the area shall be maximized to reduce the point pressure. NOTE This trapping may be avoided by preventing the gate closing completely, for example by installing a block of resilient material on a part of the closing line.
4.1.7 When the gap or structure fails to conform to any one or more of the requirements of this standard it shall be repaired, replaced, or removed. 4.1.8 The specified requirements shall be checked by visual inspection and measurements which can be carried out on the installed structure and which do not require the use of specialized equipment. NOTE The structure should be built and maintained with adequate strength and rigidity and quality of material and design to meet the requirements in this standard and to ensure the safe and convenient passage of users, as well as providing a reliable barrier to stock if required to do so.