Concerns have been raised after a barrier, costing nearly £2,700, was installed on the Wandle Trail in a bid to stop illegally-owned mopeds in the area.

Sutton Council oversaw the installation of the apparatus sometime during March, nearest to Watermead Lane, after a St Helier, The Wrythe, and Wandle Valley committee meeting last November.

While it was supported by Sutton Police, some people have raised issue with it as they feel it comes at the expense of ordinary users and claim they were not notified about it beforehand.

Alex Ingram, community engagement officer at Wheels for Wellbeing, said: “In our guidance on inclusive cycling [Guide to Inclusive Cycling], which we launched in City Hall, we have been very clear that barriers like these on paths are essentially exclusionary to a lot of disabled people. Even if they are able to use a regular two-wheeled cycle, they may find the dexterity to get through quite difficult.

“The manoeuvre may be beyond them and it really restricts the inclusiveness of these kinds of routes. We are really concerned about it.

“It seems that again it’s very easy for these barriers to just turn up without decent consultation taking place and talking to enough parties to avoid expenditure on a barrier that we, frankly, say that the only real logical solution is its removal.

“Yeah, you can look at varying the width of these things and you can change them, but to be honest our experience over time has been that any form of barrier this tight will exclude one form of user or another in a way that is not just about excluding some undesirable motorised users, but also people who are coming along in a wheelchair and other such means.”

The barrier, which cost £2,684 after it was installed sometime earlier this month, was highlighted by blogger Last Not Lost in post on March 13, who believes it ‘bars’ both disabled and non-standard cyclists, contradicting cycling design and equality guidance laws.

Charles Martin, a coordinator for Get Sutton Cycling, who has now called for a stakeholder meeting to discuss accessibility on the Wandle Trail as a whole, said: "I think it has come to a bit of a head with this barrier. I can understand the council has, through Twitter, responded as to why it was installed – and it looks like it was installed in quite a quick timeframe – because of antisocial riders on mopeds, bikes, quadbikes, and other things going through there which has always been an issue.

"If it has to stay, and they believe there are reasons it has to stay, and I don’t think it should but if it does, then I don’t think Sustrans [a walking and cycling charity] should call it the National Cycle Network anymore.

"Either it remains – if they insist it remains and remains for various reasons – they [the council] make a statement about that. But then Sustrans declassifies it [the Wandle Trail] as a National Cycle Network, or they take it out. Then they enforce the issues they have got there in other ways."

The National Cycle Network is a more than 14,000-mile series of traffic-free paths, as well as quiet, on-road cycling and walking routes, in cities across England, developed by charity Sustrans.

A Sutton Council spokesman said the barrier was installed in response to illegal mopeds going through the area and Sutton Police supported the it before the installation.

The barrier is adjustable and can be widened to accommodate cyclists, but only by the contractors and not ordinary users.

Councillor Hanna Zuchowska, chair of the St Helier, The Wrythe, and Wandle Valley committee, has been contacted for further comment.