Access to public and leisure spaces is something many people take for granted. However, for individuals living with disabilities, even a simple trip to the shops or a local park can be difficult to navigate or anxiety-inducing if spaces haven’t been designed to accommodate them.
The Importance of Accessible Spaces
A user’s experience of any venue, retail establishment, public park or place starts with the outdoor area. While these kinds of spaces should be enjoyed by everyone, lack of sufficient accessibility can be a very real barrier for those with mobility issues.
Accessible Parks & Playgrounds
Outdoor and green spaces have a huge number of benefits both on the economy and the health and wellbeing of users. They are areas where visitors can come to enjoy nature, connect with loved ones and enjoy exercise safely and at low or no financial cost. For these reasons, ensuring parks and playgrounds are accessible and user friendly for all (including those with disabilities) is vital to maximising participation.
Areas of particular concern regarding accessibility include car parks, park footpaths, and play equipment. For those using wheelchairs and other mobility aids, smooth surfaces and sufficient space are imperative for the safe navigation of outdoor areas.
From public footpaths to green lanes and bridleways, the countryside should be enjoyable for everyone. Therefore, for areas of regeneration and in the creation of new pathways, accessibility should be considered.
Walking and spending time outdoors has many health and wellbeing benefits. As well as this, if more people spend time outside they also are more likely to spend money at local businesses, stimulating the economy.
Accessible Car Parks
The design and construction of accessible car parks help disabled motorists to access facilities and local amenities easily and independently. For this reason, car parks should be as accessible as possible for all users. This can be achieved by using appropriate surfacing which is smooth and hard-wearing, clear signage, good lighting and clear access to payment machines.
Creating Accessible Spaces With NatraTex
Often, when creating outdoor spaces, the requirements of the project needs to be balanced with design to deliver on all fronts. To help with this, we created NatraTex surfacing.
NatraTex is an asphalt surface course that is similar to conventional macadam. However, unlike conventional asphalt, it is available in a wide range of colours.
NatraTex Cotswold, our flagship product, is available in 2 buff shades that are sympathetic to natural environments. NatraTex Cotswold has been used in thousands of regeneration, retail and residential projects across the country, including in the creation of supermarket car parks, park footpaths and as part of new housing developments.
NatraTex is a fantastic choice for creating accessible outdoor spaces due to its smooth finish, low maintenance nature and durability. NatraTex surfacing presents no barriers to users. As it is a fully bound surface course, the aggregates used to create it do not shift, unlike gravel surfaces which can be difficult for wheelchair users and pushchairs to navigate. This also means that NatraTex is very low maintenance. It needs no sweeping and provides exceptional grip, even in wet weather. For these reasons, NatraTex is a fantastic choice for footpaths, cycle paths, playgrounds, car parks, driveways and more.
To find out more about NatraTex surfacing products, contact us today. Our team would be happy to talk through the requirements of your project and recommend the best solution or put you in touch with approved local surfacing contractors in your areas.