Councillor Lourda Scott has called for an accessibility audit of all beaches in the Greystones Municipal District as a matter of urgency.
Cllr Scott proposed the motion at the September meeting of elected members.
She told those present that access to beaches in the area was being denied to many with mobility issues. She said that she had many people contact her to point out specific areas where access is challenging or simply not possible for many, including wheelchair users. She stated it was vital to ensure all people could access beaches for the mental and physical health benefits.
The motion received unanimous approval by those attending. The elected members agreed that a plan would be drawn up to address deficiencies identified by the audit as soon as possible.
Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Scott added: “I have been contacted by many people in the area about this problem. We live beside an incredible natural amenity, which is sadly out of bounds to many people with mobility and other issues. I have visited beaches across the District with constituents to see first hand the difficulties there are with access.
"While there has been some improvements there is a lot more that needs to be done. I have been working on this for some time and it is clear to me that a comprehensive audit is required in order to get an overall picture of the deficiencies; not only in getting onto the beach but also looking at parking, pathways and boardwalks leading to and around the beach and its environs.
"As a lover of the sea myself, I know exactly how important a role it plays in mental and physical health. It is vitally important that everybody has access to this beautiful resource, no matter their ability or disability. The audit is a necessary step in finding solutions to these problems.
"It will be important that the community most affected will be included in this and it was agreed that Disability Federation of Ireland will be involved throughout the audit process. After the audit I hope that all stakeholders will work together in creating innovative solutions so that true universal access can be achieved.”
Cllr Scott concluded by suggesting that anyone that has experienced difficulties in accessing beaches or surrounds to contact her directly.