New beach matting to make it less challenging for wheelchairs and pushchairs to get across soft sand, has been installed on Main Beach in Swanage.
Making the route down to the shoreline easier, should also help those who have difficulty walking on soft sand but are fine on the hard, wet sand and still appreciate having a paddle in the sea.
It’s by the Banjo Pier and joins up with the ramp that leads down to the beach
Help those with mobility issues
The matting by the Banjo Pier, near to the RNLI lifeguard lookout, has been paid for by a grant from Dorset Council and installed by Swanage Town Council.
The plan is for it to remain in place until the end of the summer season as part of a trial to see if it helps those with mobility issues.
It’s the same type of plastic matting that is in use at Weymouth and Lyme Regis beaches.
It stops wheels getting stuck in the sand
It finishes at the high tide mark where the firm sand starts
First to use the new matting
One family on holiday from Suffolk were the first to use the new walkway.
They said they were delighted to find the easy access matting in place, especially with four young children, multiple prams and a small cart full of things for the beach.
One of the first to appreciated the smooth route across the beach was 10 month old Skye on holiday with her family from Suffolk
“It should be accessible and inclusive”
Councillor Chris Tomes and chair of the Swanage Town Council tourism committee said:
“We all like going to the beach and being near the sea, especially in this warm weather and that should be possible for everyone – it should be accessible and inclusive.
“The town council hopes this will help those who are less mobile or those with young children, enjoy that experience like anyone else.
“We’re always looking for ways to improve our seafront and measures to make it even more accessible may be possible in the future. I’m proud that this has been achieved – it’s fantastic!”
The matting is on the area of beach in Swanage patrolled by the RNLI lifeguards