Better than a magic carpet?

One of the beach wheelchairs access mats.

Beach access is being made a lot easier for people in the northern suburbs with limited mobility or living with a disability this summer.

Central Coast Council has made beach wheelchairs available at five beaches in the north of the region and had beach matting installed at Toowoon Bay.

The beach wheelchairs are available at Lakes Beach, Shelly Beach, Soldiers Beach, The Entrance and Toowoon Bay, along with eight others to the south of the region.

To accommodate varied needs, there are three models of beach wheelchairs including the Sand Cruiser (available at all the above locations), plus the Hippocampe and Water Wheel (at selected suitable locations).

While beach wheelchair hire can be arranged on site through the lifeguards at individual Surf Life Saving Clubs, online bookings are highly encouraged to ensure the preferred model of beach wheelchair is available.

This is also the best way to arrange relocation of beach wheelchairs for individual or group bookings in advance. 

Toowoon Bay was chosen, along with for southern locations, for matting because erosion is low to moderate and it is relatively flat.

The bright, blue matting is rolled out and secured over the sand and usable by all beach goers providing a stable, non-slip, cool surface particularly for people who may use wheelchairs, mobility aids, or prams to have easier access across the sand.

Central Coast Council Administrator, Rik Hart, said it’s important to ensure that everyone in the community and visitors can participate in all aspects of community life.

“With an abundance of beautiful beaches on the Coast, heading to the beach is a major part of our community’s lifestyle and these natural assets attract hundreds of tourists to our region each year,” Hart said.

“Providing beach wheelchairs and beach matting improves access and inclusion and ensures everyone can join in and enjoy our coastline.

“Council is committed to the continual improvement of access for people with disabilities, and this is one example of delivering on this goal and implementing actions from our Disability and Inclusion Action Plan.”

To book a beach wheelchair online or for more information go to Council’s website centralcoast.nsw.gov.au and search ‘beach accessibility’.

Source: Media release, Jan 11, 2021 Central Coast Council

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