Cornwall gets UK's largest fleet of beach wheelchairs

  • Watch Kathy Wardle's report here.

Cornwall now has the largest fleet of all terrain beach wheelchairs in the UK.

More than 20 new sand chairs and 'rollator' walking aids are being made available at 14 coastal locations around the Duchy.

The chairs have been funded with a £90,000 grant from Cornwall Council to replace an older fleet which needed updating.

They will be overseen by Cornwall Mobility, which has assessed the 14 chosen beaches for their suitability.

The new all terrain chairs Credit: ITV News

Leanne Grose from Cornwall Mobility, a wheelchair and crutch-user herself, has described the chairs as "a step towards inclusion".

She told ITV News: “I've been an amputee for 21 years, so the beach has been a bit of a no-go for me. My crutch is sinking into the sand and it's hard balancing with one leg. I've got two young children, and the beach chairs mean freedom for me. It means inclusion. It means I can hold my child's hand and be part of the family unit."

The all-terrain wheelchairs and walking aids have large inflatable wheels which allow them to roll over sand and pebbles without getting stuck, giving a comfortable and safe ride.

They can be hired for free by anyone with mobility challenges.

A beach user tests out an all terrain 'rollator' walker Credit: ITV News

Cornwall Mobility has worked in partnership with Disability Cornwall & Isles of Scilly, Cornwall Council, and range of coastal charities and businesses to provide the all-terrain wheelchairs at beaches including Gyllngvase, Fistral and Polzeath.

Disability Cornwall & Isles of Scilly CEO Jane Johnson said: "It's incredible seeing people being able to actually get down on the beach, enjoy it, dip their toes in the sea, whatever it is people want to do. It's something that as non-disabled people, we take for granted every day.”

A full list of locations for the all terrain chairs can be found here.