BS 5709:2006 pdf download – Gaps, gates and stiles – Specification
4 Performance requirements for structures
4.1 General requirements applicable to all structures
4.1.1 There shall be no barbed wire, or electric fencing capable of giving a shock, inside the structure or within 1 m of the gap or structure or of the manoeuvring space. Similarly there shall be no scratching, stinging, or common rash making plant within 1 m of the structure.
NOTE Annex A gives guidance on the use of barbed wire.
4.1.2 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 2 mm flat. Protrusions integral to the design (e.g. latches) shall be rounded, e.g. using ‘D’ loops.
4.1.3 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 can be avoided by preventing the gate closing completely, for example by installing a block of resilient material on a part of the closing line.
4.1.4 Any finger or direction post carrying a protruding direction sign shall not form part of the structure, but shall be mounted separately so that the direction arm cannot overhang the structure or intrude into the manoeuvring space.
4.1.5 The ground within 2 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.
4.1.6 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.
4.1.7 The assessment of the design of a structure shall include consideration of the needs of users with visual impairment.
NOTE This might involve highlighting structures with contrasting colours.
4.1.8 When the structure fails to conform to any one or more of the requirements of this standard it shall be repaired, replaced, or removed.
4.1.9 The specified requirements shall be checked by visual inspection and measurements which can be carried out on the installed structure. These do not require the use of specialized equipment.
NOTE 1 Where a public path is wider than an authorized structure then some form of cross fencing or hedging will need to be authorized.
NOTE 2 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.
NOTE 3 It is recommended that in selecting materials for the structures an assessment be made of that material for toxicity and sustainability. With regard to toxicity the assessment might include as a minimum toxicity to humans, crops and all other flora and fauna likely to come into contact with it.
NOTE 4 Where a public path is wider than an authorized structure then some form of cross fencing or hedging will need to be authorized.
NOTE 5 The arrangement of a lockable field gate on the path line with a public gate offset from the path line is deprecated even if the extra land is dedicated.
4.2 Gaps Gaps shall conform to the following requirements in addition to those of 4.1 (see example in Figure 1):
a) for footpaths the minimum width of gaps shall be 1 000 mm;
b) for bridleways the minimum width of gaps shall be 1 525 mm.
NOTE Many path maintenance vehicles can gain access to paths through a 1 525 mm gap.