AFTER an article in last week’s Observer, the managing director of the West Wittering Estate responded to the debate over disabled parking charges at the beach.
“For some time, it has been recognised that parking and facilities for the disabled have been inadequate at West Wittering beach,” he said.
“With existing disabled parking bays, the area becomes very congested and further hampered by sand which restricts mobility, allowing no easy access to enjoy the beach.”
He said the estate was planning three open-sided beach-hut-style shelters for use by disabled people at the western end of the car park, providing access and protection from the elements, along with an access ramp and an increased number of dedicated parking bays, close to RADAR toilets, and refreshments.
“Despite full support from disabled groups and individuals, this application was rejected by Chichester District Council, but the decision subsequently was overturned on appeal,” he said. “Furthermore, we offer an all-terrain wheelchair for use on the beach and at the water’s edge.
“Work to complete this new facility will take place in the autumn ready for next season. As to parking charges, it would appear public opinion is divided and in many cases, we have been offered support by the disabled for the decision to increase rates.
“Furthermore, we have not sought to discriminate or profit from those who are less able. But we are a private company and among other organisations managing their own car parks, are faced with increased costs to maintain facilities for all to enjoy. It should be noted the estate offers the disabled a discount on an annual pass at £33 which can be used any time throughout the year.”