Wheels on the pads go round and round

If you’re in a wheelchair, use a walking frame, or have a child in a buggy then catching a bus in Kāpiti will be easier with new concrete access pads, now installed at 33 bus stops around Kāpiti.

Paraparaumu resident Jim Webber, a member of Greater Wellington Regional Council’s Disability Reference Group (DRG), and chair of Kāpiti DRG, says the concrete pads at former “problem” bus stops now make it much easier to get up a bus ramp in a wheelchair.

“There was just grass at the bus stops before, but now there’s a spot for the bus to lower its ramp on to and you can get up the ramp without your wheels being wet and slippery. This is not just for wheelchairs but for pushchairs and those with zimmer frames.

“With the huge ageing population and the increasing number of young families living up here, it’s great to have extra facilities such as these.”

Fifteen pads have been installed at bus stops in Waikanae, 13 in Paraparaumu and five in Raumati.

Cr Peter Glensor, Chair of Greater Wellington’s Transport and Access Committee, said the access pads were an excellent practical example of the work of the Disability Reference Group (DRG).

“These concrete pads wouldn’t have been built without the involvement of the Kāpiti DRG and Kāpiti Coast District Council working together with Greater Wellington to bring about real improvements that make it easier for more people to use public transport.”

Greater Wellington’s DRG was set up in 2008 after Cr Glensor recognised the need for people with disabilities to have more direct input at the regional level. The group meets three times a year and comprises representatives from various parts of the Wellington region.

The project cost $50,000 and the RegionalCcouncil plans to install pads at other bus stops around the region, as funding allows.