Ideas welcomed to improve disabled beach access in Bognor

ks180394-2 Bognor Wheelchiar Access to Beach  phot kate'Phillip King and Kristina Kosovskaja who would like there to be some disabled access to the beach.ks180394-2 SUS-180814-225147008
ks180394-2 Bognor Wheelchiar Access to Beach phot kate'Phillip King and Kristina Kosovskaja who would like there to be some disabled access to the beach.ks180394-2 SUS-180814-225147008

Demand to improve wheelchair access to Bognor’s beaches is ‘gathering momentum’ with an invitation from the town council for suggestions on how to approach the issue.

It comes after paraplegic resident Phillip King spoke to the Observer about the frustration he and his disabled partner faced not being able to cross the shingle beach in a wheelchair.

Councillor Matt Stanley said the council had been ‘completely inundated’ with responses to a social media request asking for people’s feedback on what could be done.

He said: “I think at the moment it’s got a lot of momentum and it’s absolutely something that we as a council are passionate to ensure that everybody has adequate access to the beaches.

“That’s why we’re looking to really engage with the community and especially those people who face these issues, whether it be wheelchair, pushchair and other issues.”

He added that as a father of a small child he knew very well how difficult it was to get around the town with a pushchair but there were also other residents to consider with mobility issues or sight and hearing impediments.

A topic group has been set up to ‘explore options’ as to how to improve access for everybody, with members from the community engagement and environment committee.

In response to the problems faced by Phillip King, Arun District Council stated Bognor Town Council was given a grant in 2011 to create a beach access ramp.

However a later review with engineers found the ramp ‘would become blocked with shingle in such a short period of time as to make it unviable to construct’.

The district council added that it was open to ‘any practical solution or suggestion’.

To contact the town council about beach access, email projects officer Sheila Hodgson at sheilahodgson@bognorregis.gov.uk