More than the red carpet has been rolled out at Buckingham Palace since October 2004 when members of the Paralympics GB team attended a reception hosted by Her Majesty The Queen.
Roll-a-Ramp, the revolutionary portable ramp system, was in use to ensure smooth, safe wheelchair and scooter access at the event, held a week after Paralympic Games medallists joined their Olympic counterparts in the Parade of Heroes through the streets of London.
Among the 300 guests were athletes, sponsors’ representatives and members of the support teams that made a vital contribution to the success of the British team in Athens. The Earl of Wessex, 2004 Patron of the British Paralympic Association and President of the Commonwealth Games Federation, also attended.
The Property Manager for Buckingham Palace and St. James’s Palace contacted Roll-a-Ramp as he needed a flexible system that could be used not only for this event but at their other locations as and when required.
The Roll-a-Ramp team visited the Palace prior to the reception to ensure all ramps were sited correctly. 10 ramps of varying lengths and widths were supplied for the event, plus handrails, centre support stands, low van entry plates and positive lock pins.
Two huge 28 ft long x 30in wide ramps and two 10ft x 30in ramps, each with handrails, were positioned side by side in the Marble Hall. Two 18ft x 30in ramps were placed outside, leading up to the main entrance doorway, again with handrails, while two 16ft x 30in ramps were sited outside at the bottom steps, with another two 16ft x 12in ramps running alongside.
This was a formidable installation indeed. On previous occasions, a cumbersome and complex arrangement of scaffolding and boards had been used.
This had taken nearly a week to set up, could not be moved around for use in other locations and was expensive in labour time and materials.
Jeremy Cowan, Roll-a-Ramp Director, explains: “Although the ParalympicsGB team can celebrate achieving fantastic success at the Games this year, athletes still face the day to day obstacles – such as inadequate wheelchair access – that are encountered by any person with disabilities. This is exactly the kind of scenario where Roll-a-Ramp can help. It can be difficult to obtain planning permission for building work on listed buildings, or buildings of historical significance. With our system, costly permanent incline structures are often unnecessary.”
Fabricated of extremely strong anodised aerospace aluminium, the adaptable ramp holds over 900kg of distributed weight and comes with a 10-year warranty. For added safety, high visibility yellow rubberised pinch guards and reflectors are fitted between individual links. The Allen key and spanner provided are all that is needed to adjust the overall length of the ramp by removing or adding sections. Featuring built-in safety ridges to help prevent wheels from slipping, ramps are perforated to allow water to drain away in rainy conditions. They require minimal storage space and are easily moved around to provide access into and out of buildings and vehicles, as well as up and down steps and over awkward thresholds. Useful in a wide variety of situations both indoors and outdoors, they can be neatly rolled or folded up for convenient storage and offer an economically priced and versatile access solution for wheelchair and scooter users.
Roll-a-Ramp is available in 2 standard widths to any length required and comes with carrying straps for transportation and storage. Ramps and extra sections are available from Roll-a-Ramp dealers nationwide.
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