New boardwalk improves beach accessibility on Hayling Island

Two people in mobility scooters using the boardwalk

A new boardwalk has now been completed at Chichester Avenue, Hayling Island, allowing people with disabilities and parents with pushchairs better access to the seafront.

Following consultation with disabled residents, the need to restore the previous failing boardwalk was highlighted as a priority.  Funding was then secured by Havant Borough Council, from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, to replace and extend the boardwalk facility.

Located within the Chichester Avenue seafront car park and near the public toilets, the boardwalk provides year-round access to the beach.

The new structure, made using modern all-weather composite materials, is 3m wide and 50m long.  It includes handrails and a wider platform to allow pedestrians to pass each other and to allow better access for people with additional mobility needs.  A generous seating area with tables and benches has also been added so visitors can enjoy the amazing natural vistas.

Councillor Gillian Harris, Cabinet lead for Regeneration and Communities said: “The beach is one of our borough’s greatest assets but previously it was nearly impossible for anyone living with a mobility issue to get across the stones to watch the sunset and waves breaking.

“It is important that our beaches are accessible to as many people as possible. This boardwalk is a very welcome upgrade and will mean that many more residents and visitors have the opportunity to enjoy time on the beach.” 

Nigel Page, from the Rambling Rascals Group, said "We have been working closely with the council's regeneration team providing them with our opinions to ensure this boardwalk suits the requirements of its users, and we are delighted with the results. Hopefully phase one of many, which will enable residents and visitors who suffer from mobility issues to gain further access to the beach."

A ‘Changing Places’ toilet facility is currently being constructed at the Chichester Avenue car park site.  Once completed it will provide sanitary accommodation for people with multiple and complex disabilities.  The large facilities will enable those who require one or two assistants to be with them to have plenty of room.

Once completed it will also provide a suitable size changing table for adults and a hoist that will assist with the self-transfer between a wheelchair and WC.

This provision will then allow disabled people, and their assistants, to stay out for longer and participate in more activities along Hayling seafront.