Ross Group of the Ramblers' Association is in the early
stages of planning and implementing a circular route around
and through Ross that will be accessible to wheelchairs,
electrically powered invalid vehicles, pushchairs and
buggies. The route will be about four miles in length
with numerous entry and exit points for those who do not
wish to complete the full distance.
Ramblers have been active with the Ryefield Centre Leisure
Link organization for some time and the two groups have
organized walks for members of the Ryefield centre and
other local organizations. However there has always been
a problem. Wheelchair users could not join the walks as
the terrain was unsuitable.
Ward, of the Ramblers and Alison Fletcher, of Leisure
Link had the idea that a "wheelchair friendly" route around
Ross would be of great benefit. This concept developed
so that users of pushchairs and electrically powered wheelchairs
could also use it. Lesley and Alison devised a route and
members of the Ramblers' Committee did a preliminary survey
in order to find the problems preventing wheelchair users
completing the circuit. The Ramblers' Committee approved
the plan and a small subcommittee was given the task of
making the idea a reality.
preliminary meeting with Alison Fletcher and County Councillor,
Mrs Joyce Davies and Town Councillor, and former Mayor
of Ross, John Davies was held. The Councillors gave their
enthusiastic support to the project. Among the points
discussed were ideas for possible funding as well as suggestions
for involving other local organizations in the planning
and implementing of the project. These ideas are being
Sunday 31st July the Ramblers' took a walk round the Buggy
Route with members of the Ryefield Centre Leisure Link.
The walk began at 10:00 am, from The Bandstand.
intention is to make this a true community project. So
if any individual or organization would be interested
in becoming involved, with ideas for the route, improvements
so far not thought of or for possible sources of funding
please contact Lesley Ward on 01989 768461.
Buggy Route - What is is?
A circular route, of about four miles, around and through
the town of Ross-on-Wye that will be suitable for users
of wheelchairs, (both electrically powered and manually
propelled), and by pushchairs and buggies. There will
be numerous entry and exit points so that part, or all,
of the route may be completed.
idea was it?
The idea came from the walks organized by the Ross-on-Wye
Group of the Ramblers' Association, with the Ryefield
Centre Leisure Link organization. These walks, for clients
of the Ryefield Centre, were not accessible by users of
wheelchairs. Discussions between Lesley Ward, of Ross
Ramblers, and Alison Fletcher, of Leisure Link, concluded
that a "Wheelchair friendly" circular route would be a
good idea. This then developed into a route suitable for
pushchairs, buggies and electrically powered wheelchairs.
will it be realized?
The Ross Ramblers Committee discussed the idea and set
up a subcommittee to look more deeply into the idea. The
subcommittee (Lesley Ward, Thelma Phillips, Derek Williams
and Sam Phillips) did a preliminary survey of the route
and took photographs of places where there would be a
problem for wheelchair users. These included the lack
of dropped kerbs, very uneven surfaces, steps and anti-cycle
hoops. It should be noted at this point that all the route
is in existence and the project will involve "joining
up" existing paths by eliminating the features that make
passage by a wheelchair impossible at present, such as
the items mentioned above. The subcommittee then discussed
the idea with Alison Fletcher and two local Councillors,
Mrs Joyce Davies (County Councillor) and Mr John Davies
(Town Councillor and former Mayor of Ross). The councillors
were very supportive. Informally this enlarged "Committee"
decided to call itself "The Ross Buggy Route Steering
much will it cost and how will it be paid for?
Neither question can be fully answered at this time. The
Steering Group suggested several sources of possible funding
all of which are being followed up. Until a proper survey
of the route is completed an accurate cost cannot be provided
though none of the improvements should be prohibitively
will the route be ready?
Again, it is difficult to give definite answer this question.
One of the possible sources of funding requires that a
proposal is submitted no later than 3rd October 2005 and
work must start before 31st December 2005. Assuming this
timetable is satisfied, then it is possible that the route
could be ready in early 2006. However, depending on the
cost, it may be that the route can only be prepared a
little at a time by eliminating the obstacles one or two
at a time.
The project will be publicized in the local press and
other interested parties will be invited to get involved.
The route will be surveyed more "professionally" and funding
requests will be prepared and submitted.