Monday, July 16


The good people of the Lake District are currently getting very worked up over a wheelchair path being built up the side of Latrigg. If you don't know, Latrigg is one of the mountains near Keswick and overlooking Derwentwater, the views so I'm told are spectacular. The principle of a wheelchair path is a good one, but I'm unsure on the practicalities to be honest. If its being put there so disabled people and in particular wheelchair users can go up it then I'm not convinced its going to be any easier than it already is. We are still talking pretty stiff gradients, and while I'm considered by most to be fairly fit, I'm pretty sure I couldn't get myself up without assistance, and probably quite a lot at that. This means that some poor sod, most likely the long suffering husband would have to push me all the way up. And what about coming down, have Health and Safety even thought about this? Let me tell you that going just moderately downhill in rain or drizzle, or any kind of wet conditions is miserable and certainly makes me feel unsafe, so I'm sure Id have a great time trusting someone not to let go of me all the way down the side of a mountain. ' hang on a sec' as my assistant lets out a giant sneeze..... Whoops......AARRGGHHHH.....! and I fly down the side of a mountain never to be heard of again. So call me an old cynic but it sounds like someone thought this was a great idea without really thinking about how it would really work. "I know, lets stick in a wheelchair accessible path somewhere, that will make the Lake District nice and inclusive" said someone at Cumbria County Council when writing their Disability Equality Scheme. I think you can guess by my reaction that I wont be rushing to try it out. I prefer flat. Follow the link to read the wonderfully outrageous and Id even say slightly bigoted views of some of Cumbrias finest as quoted in the Cumberland News.

Now if you were to suggest a funiculaire..... now there's an idea!


  1. Anonymous22:39

    Reminds me of the time several young outdoorzy types hauled me up a fell and on the way down I heard a pop - pop in quick succession and turned around to see my "helper" with the two grips off the push handles in his hands which he was waving about in a panic while I gathered speed at an incredible rate! A well placed bed of bracken saved my bacon.

    However I am almost pro this path just cos the "Friends" of the Lake District are agin it. They seem to make ahabit of opposing even the more practical access improvememt that are suggested and yes I am all for a funicular railway!


  2. That's quite a roll to the hill. It sounds like good intentions gone wrong. A lift somewhere would probably be a better idea.

  3. Have they consulted with the Disabled Ramblers who are the professionals on this sort of thing; and don't want to tarmac the earth, just find the wheels, ramps, mates, to make mountains and such accessible. Do you ever reply to comments ?

  4. I would try it out - I'm very interested in hiking paths I can use, which means limiting cross slope and providing enough width for a wheelchair. I'm game to try slopes.

    It's easy for us to generalize from our own situations - "I wouldn't use such a path, so people who are similar to me wouldn't, so it's a waste of money..." It's something I'm always on guard against.

  5. No idea who was consulted. Probably anyone they could find rather than targeted consultaion. And having said that they then do what they like anyway.

    I suspect this path will be more useful for the 'walking wounded'. I do try not to generalise, more seeing the praticlality of things instead if i can.

  6. Here in the States we have standards on accessible trails:

    Perhaps there's something analogous in the UK?