her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar is pleased to note that improvements carried out to its beaches in relation to accessibility have been fully utilised this summer. Previously, the beach was a place many people with disabilities were unable to enjoy, thanks to the recent changes this has now changed.
Ramp accesses have been reconditioned and direct access to the shore at the beaches is available from accessible pergola units on “mobi-mats” (synthetic walkways specially designed for the transit of mobile chairs on the beach) at Eastern Beach, Catalan Bay and Western Beach. Furthermore, at Camp Bay, an accessible ramp and wider steps were constructed at the main swimming pool making this accessible too.
Accessible toilets are available at most beaches and changing places modified to accommodate an overhead hoist system are available at Eastern Beach, Camp Bay and the Bathing Pavilion. Electronically adjustable beds for adults have also been installed in the changing place facilities.
Minister for Equality, the Hon. Samantha Sacramento, MP, said: “Going to the beach is part of the summer culture for most Gibraltarian families and it was this Government’s vision to make our beaches as accessible as possible to all. It can be said that this project, which started in 2012, has transformed some of our beaches into accessible places for everyone to enjoy. Gibraltar has been at the forefront of providing accessible facilities at our beaches and bathing pavilion as this service is not as readily available elsewhere in Europe. This improvement to our beaches forms part of this Government’s holistic vision of making Gibraltar as accessible as possible and I can be proud to say that it is gradually becoming a reality.”
The Minister for the Environment, the Hon. John Cortes, MP, said: “Our beaches are now accessible to everyone who wants to use them. This is a tremendous achievement of this Government – and we must not forget the days when this was simply not possible. My Departments will always work very closely with the Ministry for Equality to continue this transformation of Gibraltar into a place of total equality of access and opportunity.”