Campaign to give better access to to beaches in Skegness area

Trevor Wilson (centre) who is campaigning to get wheelchair/pushchair access to the sea. Also pictured (from left) are Tony Tye, chairman of Skegness and District Chamber of Commerce  and visitors Katie Duffill with daughter, Demi. ANL-161104-154219001
Trevor Wilson (centre) who is campaigning to get wheelchair/pushchair access to the sea. Also pictured (from left) are Tony Tye, chairman of Skegness and District Chamber of Commerce and visitors Katie Duffill with daughter, Demi. ANL-161104-154219001

A campaign has been launched to make Skegness beach more user-friendly to people with disabilities and pushchairs.

The special plastic path that is already proving a success in Clacton could be rolled out in the resort - making Skegness one of the first seaside towns in the country to be truly disabled friendly. The system will also benefit those with pushchairs.

Trevor Wilson, of Plastic Storage Systems, was met with applause when told a meeting of Skegness Town Council of his plan, which will also make life easier for parents with pushchairs. Mr Wilson explained enabling access to the water’s edge was a subject very close to his heart as two members of his close family are disabled.

He said: “My granddaughter sent me an email with a photo of a vinyl path that can be used to get wheelchairs down to the waters edge. I shared it on social media and was overwhelmed by the comments and likes.

“I’ve been in plastics 35 years and the vinyl used is very durable, so I approached the manufacturer who sell it to the Ministry of Defence for tanks. It comes in rolls of 10 metres and is rolled out like carpet and clipped together. We would need six to eight rolls for Skegness.

“Then there would be additional costs, including a cart to roll it out. Also, the steps down to the beach would have to be sloped. But I’m a fighter - I always think there is a way.”

The ideal location would be near the Lifeboat Station and Mr Wilson said the RNLI had already suggested where it could be stored. He said he had also had support for the idea from the Skegness and District Chamber of Commerce, Butlin’s and the Skegness East Coast and Wolds Hospitality Association (SECWHA).

Mr Wilson said: “This is something I am very passionate about.

“I come here today to ask for your support, either with a financial contribution to the project or by agreeing it is a good idea. It would be nice for Skegness to be one of the first resorts to take up this option.”

After the applause from the councillors, Mayor Coun Carl Macey suggested it could be put on the next agenda for discussion. Mr Wilson was also asked to provide the costings for the project.

Coun Maggie Gray said: “I was asked some time ago about facilities for disabled people.

“Anything we can do to make Skegness stand out would be wonderful.”

Coun Mark Anderson said: “I applaud this idea not only for visitors but there are also people who live here who are disabled.

“They are council tax payers and this is a wonderful idea which we should fully support.”