Known for its hot springs and architecture that carries an essence of the Georgian period, Bath is known to draw tourists from far and wide. Having a lush expanse of architecture, temples and more, this beautiful city, could not be considered friendly to wheelchair users until recently. Luckily, with changes and improvements over the past months being sown, wheelchair accessibility in Bath is now looking to get much easier.
What led to these developments?
The cobbled streets of Bath certainly add to the heritage charm of the place; however, these are the very same things that make it hard for people in wheelchairs to traverse these streets. With pavements that are narrow and a range of ancient monuments that are worth a traveler’s gaze, people in wheelchairs have never been able to feel at home here.
The reason for this is that almost all of these ancient buildings lack the facilities to cater to these people. They do not contain ramps or have flooring that is wheelchair-friendly and this tends to vex wheelchair users, who are left with no option but to sit out the entire tour.
However, recently a group of people decided to chart out a map that would point out to the many places in Bath that are accessible by wheelchairs so that people with disabilities would no longer be left feeling side-lined when they visited this county.
What went into the making of the plans?
The initiative was taken up by 6 stroke survivors along with members belonging to Bath: Hacked and the Stroke Association who decided to draw up a map of wheelchair accessible areas in Bath, in order to enable wheelchair users to tour the area, without having to face any discomfort or disappointment.
A meeting is expected to be held at the Guildhall with local stroke survivors before they begin marking places. John Carr, a stroke survivor, aged 58, has already decided that he will be a part of this meeting, and will be accompanied by his wife Fiona.
Having suffered a stroke, back in 2013, John who is now a resident of Bath, is an active member of the Stroke Association Communication Support Group and works to bring about better measures for stroke survivors. He believes that people in wheelchairs should have as easy accessibility to the city, as everyone else. The desire to help people in the same position as him as well as to do something good, has got him very excited.
Leaving a Legacy
The Stroke Coordinator at the Stroke Association, Philippa Gordon, felt that such a map would be highly beneficial to people in wheelchairs. More importantly, she is thrilled that the local people and stroke survivors are so keen to lend a hand and make this a possibility.
Gordon did not hesitate to thank Bath: Hacked for providing their unconditional support and expertise to the fulfilment of this project. The public meeting to start discussions for the same is scheduled for May 13, from 12 pm to 4 pm. This will be the first step in ensuring that wheelchair accessibility in Bath gets easier.