We recently sent a letter to Mid Murray Council about works on an access ramp and footpath that has resulted in a steep incline which is not suitable for those with mobility impairments. We applaud the works to improve walking and mobility within the towns and settlements in the council’s area but draw attention to an example of a ramp that does not meet Australian Standards (AS1428 Design for access and mobility.)
Letter from Walking SA
23 March 2021
Mid Murray Council
CEO Ben Scales
Dear Mr Scales
We are aware Council has been investing in installing new footpaths and access ramps in selected locations across the Mid Murray Council and we applaud the works to improve walking and mobility within the towns and settlements in the council’s area.
We are contacting you about an access matter that has been brought to our attention in Mannum.
It appears that some recent new works involving the installation of an access ramp and footpath has resulted in a steep incline which is not suitable for those with mobility impairments. We understand this is located within the town centre of Mannum on Neil Street.
We would like to draw your attention to Australian Standards (AS1428 and parts) regarding the provision of universal access to such devices, which includes the connection to new or improved footpaths from the adjacent street.
This requires a maximum grade of no more than 2.5% in any direction, together with the approach footpaths where feasible.
This issue may have been alleviated with some simple and minor earthworks to better align the grades of the new bitumen footpath and the access ramp, as well as connecting the ramp to the adjacent and new path in accordance with the standards.
We would also seek assurance that new works or asset replacements works are specified according to the relevant universal access standards (in this case, Australian Standard AS1428 and parts), and where appropriate, funded adequately.
Improving walking conditions to an agreed universal access standard for all abilities is an important and critical service councils provide. We appreciate at times errors or mistakes occur.
We would request council reconsider this matter and rectify the situation to ensure the safety and access for all residents, visitors, and workers in Mannum.
Walking SA is the peak body for walking in South Australia, and a strong advocate for creating more walkable places. We support efforts to encourage more walking for transport, recreation and health in our cities, towns, and settlements for people of all ages and abilities.
We would be pleased to discuss this matter further if required and we also would appreciate your response to this matter.