The most passive-aggressive wheelchair ramp in Britain


There’s a similar wooden ramp going into an insurance company building near me. It’s nowhere near that huge, but it looks weird. You can’t have too steep of an incline so ramps retrofitted into raised entrances end up being ridiculous switchback paths.


For that much money, they could pay a person to stand there and push any wheelchair-bound folks up the ramp.


Since there are legal specifications for the maximum slope of a ramp for wheelchair access, I wonder how many other options actually existed (other than forcing them to move to a different home).


I bet the (hypothetical) bloke who offered to knock up something over the weekend two years ago is having a bit of a chuckle.

That’s what you get for going through the proper channels…


The family’s problems have been further compounded by youths now using it as a skateboard run.

I’m terribly sorry, but that made me laugh.


From an engineering standpoint, would an enclosed wheelchair lift have been more suitable, and still be within building codes?

The mother of a disabled girl has attacked a local council after it responded to her two-year campaign for improved wheelchair access to her house by building a 10-level winding wheelchair ramp covering most of her garden.

I hope it was with a wheelchair to the shins.


I’m pretty sure they could have installed a wheelchair lift for a lot less if slop was the issue.


I was wondering something similar: 40,000 pounds is a lot of money, and it seems to me an elevator of some sort, or a motorized lift to traverse a steeper ramp, might not have cost much more, and been preferable. Higher maintenance costs, though.

As best I can tell from the news filtering out, the UK is at war with its children, and not even winning.


They could have just installed a lift instead…

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Probably not, actually. Judging from the slope of the front garden and the mechanical limitations of exterior-rated lifts, a ramp was probably the best option, unfortunately. Most exterior-rated lifts still have to be enclosed, and they don’t work on an incline, but purely vertically. Lifts that will carry at an incline are generally only rated for interior use and require the transfer of the passenger from their wheelchair into a special chair, and you still have to get the wheelchair up to the top, somehow.

I work in the building design industry (in the US), so I’m depressingly well-versed in the limitations of modern technology when it comes to helping the disabled.


I understand about higher maintenance costs. I figured that if it’s enclosed, it might cut down on weather wear issues.

Here’s an idea for any engineer/inventor/makers out there…what about a lift that’s powered by the wheelchair itself? Some sort of gear contraption or a belt with counterweights that’s driven by the traction from the powered wheel of an electric wheelchair? Could it overcome the weight of the chair and lift together?

Still, seeing as the idea of social programs being there to pick up the slack, shouldn’t the family get a break on the power bill if an electric one is installed?

Surely a vertical lift up to a platform would suffice?

There has to be a way to avoid that galvanised monstrosity.

You’re talking WAY more than 40,000BP, then, by the time you engineer the thing, build it, and install a lift tall enough that’s also weather-proof, which would be a custom job. Not to mention maintenance costs and, at least for US use (and I would assume for other places, too) having the thing inspected every year and certified as usable by the necessary licensing authorities.

From the council’s standpoint (and possibly the tax-payers’), the ramp was the way to go: every time the lift would break, they’d be on the hook for repairs (and small lifts are notoriously finicky about breaking, and repairs can be costly), not to mention the time the lift is out of service when it’s broken, because what do the woman and her child do, then?

Either that or paying for the woman to move to a more convenient house, which, all told, probably the best option for EVERYBODY involved.


Blargh. It just seems like what they actually did wasn’t the best solution. Even some landscaping could have been done to help facilitate a safe lift.

UK based architect here - yes, this is the solution you get if you follow the UK Building Regulations to the letter. There are rules on steepness, length, landing size and edge protection all of which need to be followed to prevent the designer (in this case the Local Authority) being guilty of negligence.

Yes the ramp looks awful, and yes maybe a lift would have been neater (though I agree with the other comments on maintenance, location of the lift, protection etc) but given the height difference and the limited space, the ramp probably shows the most economical, though not the most elegant, solution.


I blame Dean Kamen.

And the moral of this story is - don’t f*** with Scots. We always get our own back somehow!

Who cares if people are on social support? You think people are on social support because it is fun and a great life? Think again. Most are on support because of a disability of one sort or another or because they have limited work options for other reasons like being the single part of a handicapped child.

“These kinds of people” are us and it is literally sheer luck that any one of us does not need to make use of the social safety net.

The government has my permission to use my tax money to help any individual who for whatever reason can’t make it on their own. As it is now, a significant portion of my tax money goes to corrupt contractors who bought off politicians through campaign donations or other means. Those are the “kinds of people” who I would like to stop supporting.