A fleet of 14 specially designed beach wheelchairs is being rolled out across several of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park’s accessible beaches in time for the summer season.
The project is managed by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and part-funded by Welsh Government with support from communities and organisations who have helped to fund the chairs in previous years.
The new system will allow people to pre-book their beach wheelchair through an online booking site at www.pembrokeshirecoast.wales/beachwheelchairs, meaning a reserved chair will available when they arrive at their chosen beach.
The National Park Authority’s new Beach Wheelchair and Outdoor Access Coordinator Sarah Beauclerk said: “With many of us having spent a large proportion of time shielding indoors over the pandemic, it is more important than ever that we find ways to support access to the National Park’s stunning beaches, especially as we now know that spending time immersed in nature can lead to better physical and psychological wellbeing.
“We now have 14 beach wheelchairs available across the Pembrokeshire Coast, which will allow many people with conditions affecting their mobility to experience a visit to the beach right up to the shoreline. There is safety information and guidelines on the booking site that people can read prior to booking to ensure they will be able to use and operate the chair safely.
“The beach wheelchairs support the National Park Authority’s ‘access for all’ objectives. Their availability for this season would not have been possible without the involvement of the local businesses and community groups who have shown immense generosity by hosting a beach wheelchair for the summer season.”
Covid-19 safety measures are also incorporated into the booking system which has been created to support the beach wheelchair hosts, including beach-side cafes who anticipate being particularly busy in the summer. A beach wheelchair booking confirmation requires only a ticket and a valid form of identification.
Standard-sized beach wheelchairs, and a small number of children’s sizes are available. Beach wheelchairs will be available at over seven of Pembrokeshire’s accessible beaches.
More information about beach wheelchairs, booking costs and their locations can be found on the booking site: https://www.pembrokeshirecoast.wales/beachwheelchairs.
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