"SHAMEFUL” barriers which blocked disabled cyclists from accessing York’s Hob Moor have been removed by the council.

Jamie Wood, who uses a trike as his main mobility aid, said he was “pleased, surprised and impressed” that the steel footplates around all of the barriers to the land had been taken away.

Disability and cycling campaigners have been calling for their removal for several years, with Dr Wood taking legal action against City of York Council for breaches of the Equality Act in 2020.

York Labour also campaigned to have the barriers removed.

Dr Wood said he was “slightly disappointed” it had taken so long but said he wanted to focus on the positives.

The mathematics professor added: “Congratulations to the active transport team at the council for piloting this through to removal and congratulations to local councillors for continuing to pursue this and to see past the warped logic that underpinned its installation.”

The barriers on Hob Moor were erected in 2004 to stop motorbikers terrorising cattle on the ancient commons.

Dringhouses and Woodthorpe ward councillor Stephen Fenton, who was not involved in the installation of the barriers, said he would be keeping a “watching brief” on the impact of the changes.

He added: “That particular style of barrier was prompted by concerns about motorcycle access onto the moor and potentially the damage they could cause to ground nesting birds and when the cattle are on Hob Moor.

“It’s not good to have motorbikes zooming around in and out of herds of cattle, so clearly the barriers had to exclude certain certain types of bicycles from the moor – and that’s obviously not a good thing.”

Cllr Fenton said he hoped motorcyclists would not return, but added that measures to discourage them from accessing the moor would be looked at if they did.

York Cycle Campaign (YCC) said the removal of the footplates was “a good start” but said the remaining A-frames still go against the government’s cycle infrastructure design guidelines.

YCC has compiled a list of more than 30 places where barriers are entirely preventing or significantly impairing people’s ability to use cycle paths across the city, particularly if they are disabled.

Dr Wood, who has multiple sclerosis, added: “My hope, and increasingly my expectation, is that the council will now use guidance and impact assessments on all future works.

“The failure to do this over the last 10-15 years will take years to put right and is one of many contributory factors that has seen cycling levels drop since 2014. But with the removal of these emblematic footplates, progress has begun."

The council has earmarked a £100,000 fund to review the barriers city-wide.