|Colin says: Access Denied by Natural Erosion... |
This gravel path is totally unsafe for mobility scooter riders... not because of the gradient (which is well within the machine's capability) but because of the wooden steps and the lack of grip. Uphill is impossible - downhill is suicidal.
In many instances - an ill-advised choice of materials used in an inappropriate setting can turn what might have been relatively a minor problem into a complete no-go area. And that's precicely what's happened in this example. Gravel paths provided precious little traction on level ground... but combine a gravel path, a steep gradient, and the british weather - and this is what you get... totally unnecessary and uneven steps which would be suicidal to ride down and impossible to ride up - even on the largest and most powerful Class 3 invalid carriage available.
This path should have been tarmac from the word go... it is not even safe on foot in inclement weather, and the creation of "steps" (which are a pre-requisite on inclined gravel paths) are totally unwarrented on any consideration but costs. the above incline may look steep - but it would be well within the capability of even a Class 2 invalid carriage had the surface been tarmac.
Is it really OK that cost considerations alone can determine an invividual's right to use the same footpath as you? To some extent you have to say Yes! there should be a limit on how much you are willing to spend on footpaths! But again... for the most part... the foundations for a tarmac path already exist here! Next time the maintanance crew come to review the state of the path should they not decide in the light of equal-access legislation that the path should me made accessible aaccessible at the earliest possible opportunity?
And if you even half agree with that in principal... this might just be a good time to remind you that this is actually 2004 - and that the authorities have already had ten whole years in which to provide equal access.