Disabled visitors to attractions across the UK are still facing unhelpful staff, poor signage and badly thought-out design, according to reviewers who helped write a new guide book.
The second edition of The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain, published on 6 April by Rough Guides and Motability Operations, features more than 175 days out and visitor attractions, including festivals, markets, bars and restaurants.
Access information includes whether attractions have accessible parking and toilets; if a wheelchair-user will need assistance; facilities for visually-impaired people; whether there are scooters available; and how suitable the attraction is for people with mobility impairments.
Around 100,000 copies of the first edition – which featured 100 attractions – have been distributed since last year.
Two attractions that won admiration from readers for their access over the last year were the Prickwillow Engine Museum in Ely, Cambridgeshire, which didn’t even feature in the guide’s first edition, and the Falkirk Wheel in Scotland.
Attractions that fared well when tested by disabled reviewers for the new edition include Abbotsbury Swannery near Weymouth in Dorset, the Conwy RSPB Nature Reserve and the Magna Science Adventure Centre in Rotherham.
But those not covered by the guide because of poor access include Blackpool Pleasure Beach and the National Trust site in Formby, Lancashire.
Lara Masters, the disabled actor, model and TV presenter, said: “Very often the advertised facilities are nothing like their claims when you actually visit them.
“Reviewers for The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain, including me, encountered a number of supposedly DDA-compliant attractions that failed on practical grounds and were surprisingly unaware of their responsibilities.
“We encountered things like great disabled parking – but at the furthest possible point from the buildings; and examples of staff who knew nothing about what their attraction offers for disabled visitors.”
The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain is available free to blue badge holders by calling 0800 953 7070 or visiting www.accessibleguide.co.uk. The guide costs £6.99 for non badge holders, including postage and packing.