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SNAG highlights issues with beach accessibility facilities

The Special Needs Action Group (SNAG) has said individuals are experiencing issues with accessibility facilities, or lack of, at local beaches.

The group outlined complaints including that the beach wheelchairs are in a “sorry state”, the lack of visibility of the beach attendants and the state of the blue mats on beaches.

“SNAG is in direct contact with the relevant authorities and have held a very positive meeting [on Tuesday] morning where all these and more issues have been highlighted. We are confident that the message has been received loud and clear and we have been assured that the facilities will be improved forthwith,” SNAG said.

“We have been informed that new beach chairs have been purchased and are in the process of been delivered to all beaches. The Blue Mats should be and will be rolled down properly everyday, irrespective of whether a user attends the beach or not and accessible equipment will be readily available on a daily basis at the pergolas so that anyone requiring assistance is supported appropriately.”

The group added that sand is not the most accessible surface for persons with mobility issues and these facilities are there to make a day at the beach a pleasurable experience for those who need that extra assistance.

“We would also like to inform regular beachgoers to be aware that the Blue Mat is there for a purpose,” SNAG said.

“Persons with mobility issues need to sit as close to the Blue Mat as possible so that they can move to and from the shore to have a swim.”

SNAG said it will continue to highlight issues that affect the disabled community in Gibraltar and will always offer assistance to the relevant departments to better the experience for all.

“It is a real shame that we have had to highlight these issues towards the end of July,” SNAG said.

“We all know that forward planning is key to success and it is very important that people with mobility issues attending our beaches are supported from day one. We are nevertheless confident that things will improve very shortly.”

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