The Access Chain: an inclusive design tool

Journey and arrival

How easy it is for people to get to a site is a major factor in determining whether they will visit or not. This sounds obvious, but this factor is often neglected in access planning. It is easy to dismiss many of these issues as outside the scope of access improvements to a site. However, the visitor experience relies on this link of the access chain being as strong as the rest.

The more choices people have in ways to reach your site, the more accessible it will be. Talk to your local public transport providers to look at ways of improving their services that connect to your site. Involve disability and access groups in these discussions. Things that may be improved include:

  • Making vehicles more accessible
  • Changing routes or timetables to make access more convenient, for instance running busses when most people want to visit the park, and ensuring there are busses when most people want to return home
  • Making timetables and route information available to potential visitors in accessible formats
  • Creating new bus stops at site entrances

Many disabled people rely on their cars to get about. Improvements in provision for disabled car users include:

  • Accessible car parking close to entrance
  • Drop off and pick up points close to the entrance
  • On large sites, consider allowing car access to parts of the site

There are other things that can be done to improve the arrival experience for visitors, such as:

  • Staff and volunteers on hand at entrances
  • Staff and volunteers trained in disability awareness
  • Staff and volunteers with extra skills such as Sign Language
  • Free entry for essential support workers, carers and companions
  • Wheelchairs available for loan

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For a more concise summary, download our Access Chain summary (pdf 378k). Also available as Access Chain text only version.