Disabled access at Wales' tourist hotpots 'limit freedom'

1 week ago 6

By Matthew Murray
BBC News

image copyrightAmanda Harris

image captionAmanda Harris is utilizing a wheelchair, trike, and crutches to navigate the path

A deficiency of accusation astir disabled entree astatine immoderate of Wales' tourism destinations is simply a "restriction connected freedom", says a run group.

Disability Wales said immoderate locations were seen arsenic nary spell areas for wheelchair users and radical with mobility issues.

The occupation has been highlighted by 1 partially paralysed woman, who is attempting to navigate the Wales Coastal Path.

Amanda Harris has started moving with way teams to place improvements.

The 47-year-old was severely injured successful a cycling mishap 7 years ago.

She has go determined to implicit the 870-mile (1,400km) coastal challenge, utilizing a wheelchair, trike, and crutches erstwhile necessary.

"A fewer years ago, aft my wounded I thought possibly I wouldn't beryllium capable to get retired and research these places," said Ms Harris, who lives successful Rhondda Cynon Taf.

image copyrightGetty Images

image captionA presumption implicit the formation astatine Llangrannog, Ceredigion, from the Wales Coast Path

Her wounded means she tin lone locomotion for abbreviated distances and she uses a wheelchair.

"It is each astir improving information. There is simply a deficiency of accusation astatine the moment," she said.

"I've been relying connected radical to archer maine what's accessible and what's not.

"And that's rather hard due to the fact that I don't cognize if it's accessible for me.

"Every mobility occupation is different, truthful what idiosyncratic sees is accessible mightiness not beryllium to me.

"So, it's astir getting that accusation retired determination truthful radical tin spot what the terrain is similar and marque a determination for themselves."

Miranda Evans, argumentation and programmes manager astatine Disability Wales, said the contented "takes distant disabled people's freedom".

image captionAmanda Harris has completed 50 miles truthful acold connected the Wales Coastal Path

"There needs to beryllium a solution that doesn't restrict disabled people's access, due to the fact that it besides affects parents, carers and different household members," she said.

"On definite quality spots, and on the coastal path, disabled radical mightiness person to crook astir and spell location due to the fact that they can't advancement connected their routes.

"It destroys the acquisition and knocks people's confidence, and they're not apt to task that acold afield again due to the fact that it's precise restrictive."

The run radical said it wanted amended accusation online "at our fingertips".

Tricia Cottnam is the serviceman for the southbound Wales conception of the coastal way which covers the way betwixt Gower successful the westbound and Chepstow successful the east.

"What we are trying to bash is get arsenic galore radical arsenic imaginable to usage the path," she said.

"There are going to beryllium limitations due to the fact that of its precise nature."

image copyrightAlan Hughes | Geograph

image captionPart of the Wales Coast Path astatine Overton connected the Gower Peninsula

Opened successful 2012, the way became the archetypal successful the satellite to agelong the magnitude of full nation's seashore from the Dee estuary successful Flintshire, to the Severn estuary successful Monmouthshire.

"You volition travel crossed rocky surfaces connected cliffs, steep gradients and soil dunes but that's the quality and the quality of the seashore path," said Ms Cottnam.

"But determination are tiny changes we tin make, wherever we tin explicate astir the gradients, explicate astir the benignant of aboveground determination mightiness be, what benignant of gates oregon stiles are connected parts of the path, truthful radical tin determine whether to marque that travel oregon not.

"And it's each astir statement and not prescription. It can't beryllium 1 size fits all. We indispensable beryllium flexible."

For Ms Harris, a erstwhile diligent astatine Cardiff's Rookwood Hospital, the situation of the way is proving harder than she expected.

She has completed 50 miles truthful acold (80km), and has been raising wealth for Horatio's Garden, which creates gardens successful NHS spinal wounded centres, and the Rookwood Spur charity.

The wealth volition supply a tranquil abstraction for spinal wounded patients astatine Llandough Hospital successful the Vale of Glamorgan, which is wherever the caller Welsh Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Centre is being located, to regenerate facilities astatine the Rookwood site.

"There's already areas which I deliberation could beryllium improved specified arsenic entree alongside stiles and dropped curbs successful immoderate places, and I've already fed that accusation backmost to Wales Coast Path," said Ms Harris.

"I cognize definite areas successful the Gower, Pembrokeshire, Llŷn Peninsula, aren't going to beryllium accessible for maine but I person a squad of helpers who volition bash these parts I can't do.

"It's going to beryllium a large journey.

"I'm loving that I'm uncovering places that are accessible and getting that accusation retired determination and improving the concern for a batch of people."

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