Portsmouth City Council to trial floating wheelchairs as part of accessibility work


Portsmouth City Council is set to trial floating wheelchairs of part of an accessibility plan in the area.

The plans for the move follow a virtual council meeting which saw resident John Cullen present his accessible beach for Pompey petition.

It had been signed by more than 1,000 people.

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In a local news report from The News, it explained how the people had called for improvements to be made to Eastney Beach.

Cullen said: “It’s important to think what do our disabled visitors want when they come to the seafront. If they can swim they will want to go in the water in the summer, just like able people can. And just like many able people they want to swim close to a lifeguard station as well as disabled changing huts, parking, toilet facilities and wheelchair hire.”

Adding: “The facilities at Eastney consist of two concrete ramps, one at each end of Eastney Beach each leading to rubber matting which stops in a ‘T’ approximately halfway to the sea allowing the wheelchair user to get a closer view of the water than from the promenade.”

The report went on to outline how councillor Steve Pitt, the council’s leisure boss, went on to explain how the options were being considered.

He said: “It is really important that the city council puts resident’s safety first, and that any access across the beach is safe, particularly for residents with health needs. We are aware of some trials this summer in England which we hope might identify potential solutions for similar shingle landscapes with an all-terrain wheelchair option from the United States.

“We will report back through the cabinet member for culture, leisure and economic development’s portfolio decision meeting later this year with an update on what we have discovered from these trials.”

Concluding: “We will have a demonstration of floating wheelchairs in early August.”

A shopmobility is also set to be trialled in the future.

Tags : accessibilitycouncil
Alex Douglas

The author Alex Douglas

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