St Andrews strides ahead in making beaches accessible to all

Fri 24 May 19

Local MP Stephen Gethins marks efforts to widen access to St Andrews’ landmarks

The hard work of St Andrews’ Hamish Foundation and Tourism St Andrews has been marked by local MP Stephen Gethins.

In a motion put down in Parliament, the North East Fife MP said the small team led by Tourism St Andrews chair and Hamish Foundation founder Debbie MacCallum, deserved huge recognition for the hard work that has gone into making the town, and its famous beaches, accessible to all.

Last week the local MP visited the Beach Wheelchairs facility at the town’s West Sands, meeting with Debbie MacCallum and Jerry Beaulier of Tourism St Andrews and wheelchair user Kitty Walker of Lundin Links, who is a regular visitor to St Andrews.

Jerry, who is working to develop a special beach platform for wheelchairs, explained there are now three types of wheelchair available for free hire, the Debug, the NOMAD Desert and the all-terrain Hippocampe - which can also be used on the golf course.

He said: “People come here as families and groups and it’s great to be able to help everyone enjoy the beach. Too often people with mobility issues would see the dunes and that’s it. The beach wheelchairs have given people freedom they never thought they’d have.

Jerry added: “The addition of the free Scotland’s accessible beaches app now makes it even easier for people to pre-book beach wheelchairs and to find out what other accessible facilities and attractions there are in the town.”

Stephen Gethins MP said: “It’s great to see how the hard work by Tourism St Andrews and the Hamish Foundation is benefitting so many people. This is a massive asset to St Andrews and the whole of Fife and Tayside and I hope we can spread the word via the app that these beaches are accessible and encourage more of our coastal towns and villages to do the same.

“The motion in Parliament recognises the tremendous amount of hard work that has gone into the Beach Wheelchair initiative and the efforts that are ongoing to create Changing Places facilities in the town.”

The text of the EDM can be found here

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