Furniture and structures

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Signs, gates and other furniture

  • Ensure signs are standing upright, firm in the ground, pointing in the right direction and readable. Repaint as necessary (the sign manufacturer should be able to recommend the frequency), including the lettering

  • When a gate or stile is in need of replacement, consider whether it can be removed altogether, leaving a wide enough gap, or replaced with a less restrictive design to allow easier access for a wide range of users

  • Ensure catches and self-closing hinges on gates work and hinges are greased at least once a year

  • If signs are being vandalised frequently consider using different materials or locations. For generic signs across a path network, keep a stock of spare signs available to allow quick replacement

  • Broken fences could allow stock to stray. If the fence is your responsibility, repair it promptly to avoid damage or injury as this could jeopardise future relations with the landowner. Do a temporary repair, if a full repair is not possible immediately

  • Repair damaged access controls promptly to ensure legitimate users can use the path, and to prevent unauthorised vehicles causing damage

Bridges and other structures

  • Paint steel work when required to prevent deterioration, re-treat timber, replace broken, rotted or missing elements, such as decking boards

  • Most structures will have a ‘design life’ based on materials and use. At the end of this life they must be fully assessed to determine if they need to be replaced.

Clearing litter

  • Litter strewn paths will quickly become unattractive for users – an instant failure under the ‘fit for purpose’ criteria. Litter attracts litter – keeping on top of litter clearance and removing fly-tipped rubbish promptly will help to discourage people from using paths as unofficial dumping grounds. If done regularly, litter clearance can be a simple task

  • Clearing broken glass is particularly important but avoid the temptation to sweep it onto the verges. This will quickly render them ‘no-go areas’ for dogs, children, horses and anything with pneumatic tyres

  • Small sweeper machines (as used by Council Environmental Services) are the most effective and cheapest way of clearing litter from bound surfaces

  • Litter needs to be cleared from verges and adjacent vegetation, as well as from the path itself

Removing graffiti

  • Graffiti can be removed using a pressure washer. However, these are expensive and cumbersome

  • A simpler solution for bitmac is to paint over the graffiti with bitumen paint. This will fade to match the colour of the existing surface and will quickly wear back down to expose the original texture

  • Graffiti on structures can also be painted over. Various commercial anti graffiti coatings are available which aid removal

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© 2014 Paths for All - Registered Scottish Charity No: SC025535, Company Limited by Guarantee No: 168554 inc. 19 Sept 1996 at Companies House, Edinburgh