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New scooter at Aysgarth Falls

The new Tramper Overlooking the upper falls

Aysgarth Falls has become the latest destination in the National Park to offer free use of an all-terrain wheelchair.

The new Tramper scooter, available to borrow from Aysgarth Falls National Park Visitor Centre, is enabling people with mobility difficulties to get to the water’s edge at the upper falls as well as to a viewing platform in the woods above the middle falls. 

The wheelchair can be booked in advance via Access the Dales, a charity with a mission to ‘make the inaccessible accessible’.

It brings to seven the number of Trampers available to borrow in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.  The others are at Malham, Clapham and Bolton Abbey in Craven, at Tebay and Nateby in the Westmorland Dales, and at Newbiggin near West Burton in Wensleydale. 

Dales Volunteer Keith Pritchard, who meets and greets visitors at Aysgarth Falls, gives people an induction on how to use the Tramper (see picture).

He said: “I’ve often seen people arrive and park in one of the disabled bays, and they can then be left behind, while their family goes to enjoy this beautiful site. The Tramper now allows them to join their families and it’s very fulfilling to see them all go off together.

“It’s been a really popular service. We are getting five or more requests to use it some days.”

The Tramper has been paid for using a grant from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ ‘Access for All’ programme.

Member Champion for Recreation Management at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Lizzie Bushby, said: “Aysgarth Falls has been a tourist favourite for well over a century.   We’ve been working with local partners for a number of years to make it into a flagship accessible site, so there are accessible toilets and parking bays, an accessible visitor centre and café, as well as an access guide produced for the site with maps and information.

“We are getting close to our ambition of making Aysgarth Falls and Freeholders’ Wood accessible to all.”

The Tramper at Aysgarth Falls Visitor Centre is designed for people who have use of at least one hand, because of the twist grip controls, and who are able to get in and out of the chair.  The Tramper can travel at a top speed of four miles per hour, which is the legal speed limit for a footpath. 

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