'Dream' of accessible beach realised with opening of boardwalk

The Waveney Disability Forum, East Suffolk Council and Foxwood Building Services at Lowestoft's South Beach boardwalk

Representatives from the Waveney Disability Forum, East Suffolk Council and Foxwood Building Services officially open the new boardwalk at Lowestoft's South Beach. - Credit: East Suffolk Council

A newly-installed boardwalk allowing disabled access to a Lowestoft beach has been officially opened.

The boardwalk at South Beach provides year-round access on to the beach for people with disabilities, particularly wheelchair users, as well as people with pushchairs.

Developed by the Waveney Disability Forum (WDF), who worked closely with East Suffolk Council (ESC), the boardwalk was completed ahead of First Light Festival and was officially opened on Friday, June 24, by representatives from WDF, ESC and Beccles-based Foxwood Building Services, who constructed it.

Councillor Frank Mortimer, on behalf of WDF, said: “About 14 years ago while enjoying the sunshine at our beach hut, my wife and I watched disabled people and parents with young children in pushchairs trying to access our lovely South Beach, so I decided as a councillor to take this issue to the then Waveney District Council Cabinet to seek support and funding to have access to the beach built.

"I then took the idea to Waveney Disability Forum to discuss and establish their needs but unfortunately funding was not available for this project at the time.

"However, more recently funding was identified and so the dream of having access to our beach for disabled people and parents with young children became a reality, enabling them to enjoy the beach the same as we all can.

"We will also continue to look at other ways we can further enhance the project."

Most Read

As well as the boardwalk, 10 of the new Eastern Edge beach huts have been designed with accessibility in mind, with some of the huts able to be linked together to create a larger space.

Craig Rivett, deputy leader and cabinet member for economic development at East Suffolk Council, said: “This is a fantastic facility and enables even more people to enjoy our beautiful beach.

"We have already heard from people who have been able to get onto the beach for the first time in years, which is wonderful news.

"The boardwalk is just one of the many projects which is helping to transform our seafront, and we are already working on other facilities which will improve accessibility in the area."