Wheelchair user at a sandy beach image

In an effort to improve seafront accessibility, Portsmouth City Council has confirmed it will trial the use of floating wheelchairs this summer.

As reported by Portsmouth’s The News site, the trial of the floating wheelchairs comes as part of a wider bid to make Portsmouth’s seafront accessible to those with disabilities.

Local Portsmouth resident John Cullen presented a petition on 21 July calling for improvements to be made to Eastney Beach in Portsmouth.

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Currently, the facilities for disabled visitors comprise of two concrete ramps at either end of the beach, reported the local newspaper. The ramps lead to rubber mats which run halfway up the beach before stopping in a T shape.

The ramps and mats enable wheelchair users to get a better view of the sea from that of the promenade, said Mr Cullen, but are not good enough for disabled visitors that wish to go into the water.

Additionally, Mr Cullen pointed out that facilities enabling disabled people to swim close to a lifeguard station, as well as providing access to disabled changing huts, toilets, are also required.

Portsmouth City Councillor Steve Pitt said accessibility options are under review and stressed that the council will prioritise resident safety first to ensure any access solutions to the beach are safe for residents with additional health needs.

Councillor Pitt also suggested that the council was looking at potential all-terrain wheelchair options from the United States to enable people to travel on the shingle beach.

The floating wheelchair trial will start in early August.

https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/wheelchair-sand-beach-travel.jpg?fit=1000%2C667&ssl=1https://i0.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/wheelchair-sand-beach-travel.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Calvin BarnettGovernment & Local AuthoritiesNewsroomSector NewsAccessibility,all-terrain wheelchairs,floating wheelchairs,petition,Portsmouth City CouncilIn an effort to improve seafront accessibility, Portsmouth City Council has confirmed it will trial the use of floating wheelchairs this summer.As reported by Portsmouth’s The News site, the trial of the floating wheelchairs comes as part of a wider bid to make Portsmouth’s seafront accessible to those with...News, views & products for mobility, access and independent living professionals