Access to West Sands for wheelchair users

The service will be in St Andrews on July 28 and 31.
The service will be in St Andrews on July 28 and 31.

Wheelchair users could soon be travelling across St Andrews’ iconic West Sands.

The iBex, a pony-pulled vehicle which allows users to remain in their wheelchairs, will be coming to the town on July 28 and 31, based at the Bruce Embankment.

The wheelchair rolls onto the iBex, a vehicle which has been designed to tackle different types of terrain, and is pulled along the beach by the pony, named Obama.

While the iBex will be offering trips along the beach, PAMIS is bringing one of its changing places toilets, an accessible toilet for people with various disabilities to use.

Debbie McCallum, vice chair of Tourism St Andrews, explained why the organisation wanted to bring Pony AxeS to the town.

She said: “We don’t have access for people in wheelchairs who want to get on the beach.

“We want to make the beach accessible to everyone and we need to start providing access.

“We hope that we will be able to make our beaches more accessible and inclusive over time and hope we can work with PAMIS and other organisations to achieve this.

“Pony AxeS is a great opportunity to give PAMIS families a chance to experience St Andrews and we hope we will be able to make steps to bringing not only Pony AxeS back next year but also provide beach wheelchairs and a changing places toilet in St Andrews.”

The service will be visiting St Andrews as part of a tour of Scotland.

Pony Axes is in Portobello today (Friday) and will be visiting Broughty Ferry and Balmedie, before arriving in St Andrews on the 28th.

Andrew Smart from PAMIS said the families it works with were excited about the opportunity to experience more of the town.

He said: “This event has generated great excitement and anticipation amongst PAMIS families in Fife.

“The unique event is great way for families to experience St Andrews and we hope there are more events like this in the future.”

While the service, run by Pony AxeS, is already booked up on the 28th, people are free to book for the 31st.

To book a session on the iBex, email simon@ponyaxes.com or call 07510 736518.