All service providers are required under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 to take all reasonable measures to ensure that their premises are accessible to people with disabilities.
Someone with a disability may need a permanent ramp to access their own premises and/or a portable ramp for personal use.
Are ramps always the answer?
Ramps can work well in many situations. However, remember that propelling a wheelchair up or down even gentle slopes requires strength, dexterity and confidence by the user or their helper/carer.
Where there are steeper changes in level a short rise lift or wheelchair- platform-stairlift may be more appropriate.
This is not only because of the effort and ability required to negotiate the ramp, but also because of the length of ramp required, which may not fit into the space available.
What should be the gradient of the ramp?
The gradient should be no steeper that 1:12 and preferably should be 1:15 or 1:20. For detailed information on the layout of ramps consult the “Approved Document M Building Regulations 2004” or contact The Centre for Accessible Environments which operates a free telephone advisory service.
www.cae.org.uk, 70 Lambeth Rd, London SW8 1RL
Tel/textphone: 020 7840 0125
Fax: 020 7840 5811
SMS 07921 700098
Small portable ramps and larger multi-sectional ramps
These may be suitable in situations where ramped access may be required on a short term basis or where a permanent ramp cannot be fitted.
Types of Portable ramps
- Made in a range of materials.
- Two channelling ramps.
- Single platform ramps.
- Folding, roll-up and/or telescopic.
- Multi-section ramps are larger and although they can be dismantled and moved to another site they cannot be considered portable.
Are there any regulations regarding the use of portable ramps?
There are no regulations.
What points should I consider when choosing a ramp?
- What is the height difference between the two levels which the ramp has
to bridge? Most portable ramps are only suitable for use over the
equivalent of one or two doorsteps or thresholds. Some suppliers provide
made to measure ramps and on-site surveys.
- Will the ramp need to be lifted frequently – how heavy is it, do you need an
- If the ramp cannot be left in place due to causing due to causing an
obstruction or hazard or possible theft is there space to store it – a folding
or telescopic ramp should be considered.
- Will the ramp need to be transported in the car? If so, will it fit into the car?
- Check the weight limit of the ramp – will it be strong enough to support the
weight of wheelchair or scooter plus the weight of the user and also a
helper or carer.
- Are the supporting surfaces of the ramp secure and slip resistant?
- How high is the threshold? Some doors, especially UPVC and patio doors
have a high threshold as well as a doorstep. It may be necessary to use a
threshold ramp to bridge the gap.
- Users of 3-wheeled scooters need a ramp that can support the front (middle) wheel.
- Ramps should have raised edges to prevent wheels from going over the side.
Nationwide specialist suppliers
Chase Mobility 53A Wellington Estate, off Bean Road, Coseley, Bilston, West Midlands WV14 9EE
- Tel: 01483 722922, sell a wide range of ramps including
access lights lifts, if required
- Tel: 01902 675 835 Fax: 01902 674 998
- Dec Pac Ramps from Martyn Industrials tel: 01228 544000, specialise in
light weight folding ramps. Made to measure service is available for longer lengths.
5 Brunel Way, Durranhill Industrial Park, Harraby, Carlisle, CA1 3NQ
Tel: 01228 544 000
Fax:: 01228 544 001
- Easiaccess Solutions Independence House, Federation Way, Lancaster
Road, Dunston, Tyne & Wear NE11 9JR
Tel: 0191 4602777 Fax: 0191 4604739
- Flexiloc Unit 2, Focal Point, Lacerta Court, Letchworth Garden City,
Herts 5G6 1FJ
Tel: 0870 740 7783 Fax 0870 740 7784
- Jetmarine – solving your access problems
Jetmariine Ltd Unit 1 National Trading Estate, Bramhall Moor Lane,
Hazel Grove, Stockport, SK7 5AA
Tel: 0161 487 1648 FAX: 0161 483 7820
- OT Stores, suppliers of the Stepless-Guilmann ramps
OTS Ltd (OTSTORES), PO Box 234, Malvern WR14 1QB
The Haysfield, Spring Lane North, Malvern, WR14 1GF
- Tel: 08705 275 274
- Tel: 0845 260 7061 Fax 0845 260 706
- Portaramp access ramp manufacturers
- Head Office Portaramp Trident House, Roudham Road, East Harling,
Norfolk NR16 2QN
- Sell a wide range of ramps including multi-sectional. Make to measure
- Hours of opening 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday
- Tel: 01842 821400
- Tel No: 01953 714599 Fax: 01953 714598
- Ramp Centre
Call 0800 2799499 for details of stockists.
- For wheelchair and scooter users who want independence and flexibility.
- Tel: 020 8341 6767
- Thor World Access Ramps, sell a wide range of ramps
including independent use door threshold ramps.
- Tel: 01246 260981 or 01246 260602 Fax: 01246 260493
Email: i or alternatively contact us direct at:
THOR WORLD INDUSTRIES LTD. Station Lane Industrilal Estate,
Old Whittington, Chesterfield, Derbyshire S41 9QX
Permanent ramps are usually built from concrete or wood. You should ensure that the surface is slip resistant
- General Builders
General builders may be able to construct a ramp. However, you should ensure that they are experienced and understand the necessary gradients and design requirements. Such details can be provided by the Centre for Accessible Environments tel: 0207 840 0125. Website: www.cae.org.uk. centre for accessible environments, 70 South Lambeth Rd, London SW8 1RL
Is there financial assistance available?
Social Services Occupational Therapists may be able to provide access ramps for you. However, there can be extensive waiting times for their service.
For details Tel: 435252
SUPPLIER DETAILS ARE FOR INFORMATION ONLY AND DO NOT CONSTITUTE A RECOMMENDATION
You may qualify for VAT exemption on some equipment