A note on accessibility, grading and surveying, because knowledge is power, and freedom!
We want to design and share routes for getting between places that are inclusive and accessible. We ask volunteers who survey our routes to grade them. 1Y routes should be fully accessible to wheelchair users and other grades may be usable depending on the person and their chair. You can read more about our route grading here.
Steps, stiles and steeps
Much of the Slow Ways network includes obstacles such as steps, stiles, crops encroaching onto paths or even steep slopes. These obstacles mean that much of the network is not fully accessible and never will be, but we are working to provide better information on the quality of routes so that more people can make decisions for themselves on whether or not they are usable.
So far 1,000 Slow Ways routes have been surveyed and 50 of these have been given 1Y grades. We are aware that some wheelchair users will enjoy routes that are graded 2, 3, 4 and even 5 – the toughest of routes.
Many of these surveys include photos that show the nature of the routes. Our ambition is for all verified routes in the Slow Ways network to be surveyed. And not just by one person, but multiple people so that walkers and wheelers can make decisions on if the route is appropriate for them or not.
Give a survey – knowledge is power, and freedom!
If you are able-bodied and have the inclination we really appeal to you to do the surveying training, and get surveying while you walk routes. There’s more about how to get surveying here, the training isn’t arduous, and we have a form that helps you survey as you walk.
This is how we will make the network as useful and trustworthy as possible for people with accessibility requirements of all sorts!
If you are disabled please make use of the existing surveys to help you choose routes that will be safe for you. And please do survey them again!
And please do get in touch – we would love to hear about your experiences if you are a disabled person using Slow Ways.