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Portsmouth Launches Wheelchair Navigation App

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Location: Hampshire, UK

PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:46 am    Post subject: Portsmouth Launches Wheelchair Navigation App Reply with quote

Portsmouth is the first city in the UK to introduce an app that will help people with limited mobility to plan their travel routes.

The free Route4U app, available on Apple and Android smartphone platforms as well as a web app, is a global project and encourages cities and property managers to get involved in developing detailed local data for its users. Portsmouth City Council worked closely with the developers to map out the city's pathways.

Users can easily plan their journeys using a route map and navigation system with the app indicating pavement obstacles, surface quality, kerb heights, widths, inclines and travel distances. It provides route planning and turn-by-turn navigation for wheelchair users, and it can be customised to each person's own abilities.

Volunteers, including members of the Portsmouth Disability Forum, have been travelling around the city to inform the developers about pavement conditions and potential obstacles. Volunteers are either able-bodied people who report obstacles through the app or wheelchair users using their phone's auto-survey function to collect data.

Tamas Szekely, CMO of Route4U, said, ‘The infrastructure in Portsmouth is surprisingly well-built compared with other European cities, but temporary obstacles and pavement defects over time are simply unavoidable. Users can upload a report in less than 30 seconds, saving a lot of struggling for wheelchair users.’

The system can also help the council's transport planners better design, maintain and improve pavement accessibility. Using the analysis and decision support tool, council officers can access information about the most problematic bottlenecks, enabling them to prioritise pavement maintenance work.

Source: route4u.org
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Posts: 23
Location: Derby, UK

PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2019 10:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds a good idea. However I wonder whether the app is able to tell users when the pavements are blocked with people parking cars outside restaurants and take-aways?

There's a couple of stretches of pavement in Derby where this occurs every evening, but also certain times during the day at weekends. It's impossible to walk on the pavement past the cars, so those in wheelchairs, mobility scooters, and with pushchairs and prams have no chance. The authorities do nothing, even though it's a regular occurrence.
At other times the pavements are clear.


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