Ramps for Wheelchair & Scooter Access
What length ramp do you need?
For fixed concrete ramps, Building Regulations would generally suggest a gradient of 1 in 15 (eg: a 5 cm height would require a 75 cm ramp).
However, this is a guideline, and not a legal requirement. If space permits, this is the ideal gradient, but often the height that needs to be bridged is too great to allow such a length, particularly on narrow footpaths etc.
Where only occasional use of a portable ramp is required, for powered scooters / electric wheelchairs (or a manual wheelchair with assistance), a gradient of 1 in 6 is considered adequate. (eg: a 15 cm step requires a 90 cm ramp).
We have a comprehensive guide to choosing between the different types of portable ramp here
A more permanent structure, such as the fixed wheelchair ramp shown on the left, makes sense wherever regular wheelchair access is required.
With a non-slip surface and easy grip handrails, it is equally suitable for ambulant users with reduced mobility.
A neat modular ramp system, right, uses polyurethane tiles which interlock together to form a tough but flexible semi-permanent solution. There are six kits available, containing sets of pre-assembled ramps, which can be used over and over again, to overcome obstacles up to a height of 15cm and a width of 75cm.
These versatile ramp kits can be used to enter and leave buildings; move through doorways within the home; overcome steps; move easily into conservatories or from the patio to the garden.
The tiles have excellent drainage capability, keeping the surface dry, and will not fade in the sun. They can be safely placed against damp courses, airbricks and drainage grates and, because they are semi-permanent, they have no impact on protected buildings.
Portable wheelchair ramps can be moved quickly to wherever they are needed – to get in and out of a vehicle, for example, or up or down an occasional step.
The ramp on the left is lightweight fibreglass and comes in lengths from 2′ to 7′. A very competitively priced alternative to a permanent ramp structure for providing access, this type of ramp can be used by three wheeled scooters, as well as wheelchairs and four wheeled scooters.
These ramps (right) are telescopic, closing down when not in use.
Designed to be particularly easy to carry and store, each track is separate, and folds down to about a third of its maximum extended length. For safety, the ramps have a non-slip surface, and a locking mechanism to keep them extended.
Because of the design, they can only be used by four wheeled mobility vehicles and wheelchairs.
In the house, a threshold ramp is a quick and convenient way to bridge small variations in floor level.
Ramps such as these can make quite a bit of difference to getting around in a chair or scooter. There are ramps available to bridge a slight change in floor level (left) or a ridge such as a door sill, on an otherwise even floor (right).