The ramps are easy to install and instantly improve accessibility, Source: City of Ghent

Ghent gifts free wheelchair ramps to shops and restaurants

Ghent gifts free wheelchair ramps to shops and restaurants

Quick solutions to make the city one degree more accessible immediately

The City of Ghent is working with local small businesses to test small mobile ramps that can be quickly installed at the entrances of shops and restaurants. If they prove fitting and successful, the local authorities aim to distribute some 300 free ramps in a bid to boost the accessibility of the urban environment for people with mobility difficulties.

For the time being, it’s small business shop and food establishment owners, located on Kalandestraat, Mageleinestraat, Koestraat and Voldersstraat, that are being asked to volunteer their premises to test the small ramps.

Making the commercial sector of Ghent more welcoming

When the feedback phase is over, the City plans to purchase 300 ramps – 30% of these will go to cultural institutions and schools, with the rest to benefit small businesses and their customers. All of this - free of charge.

With these inclined surfaces we make the world a lot bigger for wheelchair users, people with a walker or parents with a buggy. They are a quick solution to make things more accessible, but with this promotion, we also want to encourage merchants to do more,” explains Astrid De Bruycker, alderman for Equal Opportunities.

Shop owners are already encouraged to register at the municipal website if they’re interested in receiving a free ramp.

The only conditions are that they shouldn’t have an entrance sill that is higher than 20 centimetres. Also, the sloping ramp shouldn’t hinder pedestrians – otherwise, it would prove to be a trade-off in terms of accessibility rather than an overall boost.

The City of Ghent is investing 52,000 euros in the campaign, which is intended to make small business owners think about accessibility and encourage them to make more structural interventions.



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