New video aims to show how accessible the Broads are to people with disabilities

Launch of the Broads access video on Barton Broad. Bryony Limb using the Venture Keel from the Nancy

Launch of the Broads access video on Barton Broad. Bryony Limb using the Venture Keel from the Nancy Oldfield Trust Ark.

A new video has been launched as part of an effort to make the Broads more accessible to people with disabilities.

Yesterday's launch came on World Tourism Day, which is organised by the World Tourism Organisation.

The video, produced by the Broads Authority and Geocast TV, is presented by journalist and musician Mikcorrect Scarlet.

It highlights how the Broads has 125 miles of waterways, attracting 8 million visitors a year - and how many locations and activities are accessible to people with impairments.

Jacquie Burgess, chairman of the Broads Authority, said: 'The Broads Authority has produced this video to help people with disabilities to enjoy the incredibly beautiful Broads, whether on land or water.

'We also wanted to help Broads companies to recognise how improving their accessibility could improve their business.'

Its highlights include the easy access ramp on UK's first solar powered boat trip, Ra, at Whitlingham Country Park.

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In the video, Mike, who operates Ra, said: 'It was bought from a German company, but with wheelchair accessibility in mind.

'So it's very easy to get on and off, and we can probably get about four wheelchairs on here.

'It's a very stable platform and it's quite high, so you can see all the way around.'

It also highlighted the mountain trike, available to hire in the summer, and suitable for all terrains and so ideal for wheelchair users.

Barton Boardwalk, which was designed with accessibility in mind, is described in the video as 'a unique and multi-sensory experience of the Broads', which leads to a panorama of the second largest of the broads.

Another attraction shown is Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, which has four mobility scooters that anyone can use, if they book in advance, as well as a wheelchair accessible boat, and braille panels for information in the garden.

Stephen Braddock, centre manager for the Nancy Oldfield Trust, which has a selection of boats and a specially designed accessibility hoist, said: 'The video is a fantastic advert for all the organisations involved.

'Some people face significant challenges in getting out on the Broads and this video aims to address those and I hope will encourage other organisations to get involved and make access even easier.'

The Broads Authority highlighted the economic contribution made by travellers with a disability, and outlined what businesses could do to increase opportunities for access for everyone, including:

- customer service and training - being disability aware, with the right attitude and confidence to serve all customers;

- making reasonable adjustments to buildings and facilities so they are easy for everyone to enter and move around;

- provide detailed information on the accessibility of their facilities, and making it easy to find.

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