App shows areas in Portsmouth accessible for pushchairs and wheelchairs

PEOPLE are being encouraged to take part in a campaign aimed at improving access for wheelchair users and parents with pushchairs.

Wednesday, 19th October 2016, 6:05 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 2:57 pm
A new app will show places that are wheelchair-friendly

Route4U is calling on residents in Portsmouth to contribute to an online map and mobile app that shows which businesses and areas have level entrances, dropped kerbs and flat surfaces.

Originally launched in Budapest, the organisation is now bringing the project to the city and hopes to draw attention to how infrastructure can be made more accessible.

Co-founder Tamas Szekely said: ‘There are charities collecting money for different purposes.

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‘What we do is similar in a way, except we collect information. It is a crucial asset that anyone can easily contribute.’

The online map and the mobile app are like a puzzle with each person filling in one piece.

The interactive map is colour-coded with each location either labelled as having an accessible entrance and/or accessible toilets, having assistance for the entrance and/or toilets, not having an accessible entrance and/or toilets and there being no information on either.

Users of the app can also upload photographs of temporary obstacles like scaffolding.

Mr Szekely added: ‘We see that even addressing serious issues, playfulness in communication makes a huge difference by opening more ears.

‘This is why we went for the puzzle game and this is why we ask people to play for change.’

Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond has welcomed the app. As previously reported in The News, Mrs Drummond took a ride in an electric buggy to learn about the challenges facing disabled people in the city.

She said: ‘The app sounds really great. What I’m excited about is that Portsmouth is reasonably accessible and this app will show that.

‘It will also encourage shops to become accessible as they will be able to see that others are.’