Stairway

Stairway to heaven (2006)

Stairlift - southern view

Stairlift – southern view

Stairway to Heaven was the first project by a predecessor to r u r a l r e c r e a t i o n, “Walk, Don’t Walk”. The project  aimed to challenge the status quo by demonstrating the need for opening up the countryside of the UK in a radical and proactive fashion. Stairway to Heaven aimed to create greater accessibility at Haytor Rocks in the Dartmoor National Park, Devon (OS map reference SX7577), making this popular tourist site DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) compliant. The project was a partnership with Childs Sulzmann architects. The planning application was rejected by Dartmoor National Park.

Stairlift - Plan

Stairlift – Plan

“Yes there are two paths you can go by but in the long run
There’s still time to change the road you’re on”
Stairway to Heaven by Led Zepplin
Complete feasibility study for making Haytor Rocks DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) compliant. All available in pdf format (0.5 to 1mb files)

Click for the BBC news reports

Stairlift plan for Dartmoor tor

Tor lift plans are refused

Today Programme, BBC Radio 4

3/07/06  7:45 am

Edward Stourton

An artist wishes to install a 30 foot solar powered stairlift at Hay Tor Rocks, one of the most popular Tors on Dartmoor. Tors of course are the rock-topped hills which are such a characteristic of Dartmoor.  Alex Murdin is on the line now…..

ES: It’s Wimbledon time now Alex Murdin, so I suppose the ‘You Cannot Be Serious’ question seems appropriate?

AM: Well yes I think it’s perfectly serious.  The feature of Hay Tor Rocks is that it already has a set of steps that were cut into it in the 1800s and all the stairlift is doing is actually making those steps accessible to disabled people.  I always find it strange that the Disability Discrimination Act applies to urban spaces and public buildings but doesn’t apply to natural features.

ES: But the difference is precisely that isn’t it, that buildings are built by humans and natural features are natural?

AM: Well absolutely but that surely makes no difference.  Hay Tor Rocks are actually used by tens of thousands of people every year who climb it to take advantage of the fantastic views – you can see all the way across to Portland Bill on a clear day, and that sense of spiritual uplift you get when you’re up high I think should be available to everybody.

ES: Well yes but common sense in these things must play a part musn’t it, do we put a lift up Ben Nevis?

AM: Sure, I mean the main objections that people have come up with to this idea is that it would somehow ruin the visual aspect of the Tor, but I mean if we can’t develop things and create challenging and interesting structures in our landscapes, if someone arbitrarily puts a landscape into stasis, then there’s not going to be any history that we can actually leave to other people.  You take Dartmoor and there’s been human development there for about 3000 years: all the stone circles, all the picturesque bridges are things people admire. If we can’t do that in a contemporary sort of way we’ll have nothing to leave to future generations.

ES: Come back and tell us what the planning authority say when they’ve made their minds up. Many thanks.

AM: That’s great, thank you very much.

The comments…

For
—–Original Message—–
From: Heather-Joy Garrett
Sent: 03 July 2006 08:12
To: iambuying@stairwaytoheaven.me.uk
Subject: Access

I have been an Award Leader for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award over 12 years but in December 2001 I broke my ankle and now have to use a wheelchair to have a full life. I prepare young people to go out on expedition but can no longer go with them. This is hard and compounded by my husband who is currenty training to become a Mountain Leader. There is no way that the majority of the countryside could be made fully accessible but this project would seem to be one that could work without damaging the site.

Those members of the Dartmoor Preservation Society are obvilious fully abled and have no compassion for thse of us who can no longer stand on a ridge to admire the view and blow the cobwebs away. Perhaps they could take a moment to reflect that those of us who are disabled often have more cobwebs that need such treatment.

—–Original Message—–
From: Mark Swann
Sent: 04 July 2006 00:12
To: iambuying@stairwaytoheaven.me.uk
Subject:

For millennia Dartmoor has been a landscape in which ‘all’ could exploit, today it is a landscape that all should enjoy. Dartmoor has

given me as an able bodied person freedom, inner peace, excitement and abject terror. I say DPA, get off your high and precious horses. I

firmly support the chair lift and I would like to shake the hand of the person who devised the idea, good on you

—–Original Message—–
From: Rob Norris
Sent: 03 July 2006 20:44
To: Alex Murdin
Subject: RE: Is this project the first of its kind in the UK?

Hi Alex,

Many thanks for getting back to me…that’s good to know for the top line of the story.

It made a really nice report on BBC World Service Radio, using material from your website and a clip from your interview on the Today programme this morning too.

It raised a very interesting issue about how far the rights of those with disabilities should go…great agenda-broadening stuff, much more interesting than the regular diet of international politics! It was transmitted several times in our World Briefing news programme.

Hope all goes well with the project.

Rob

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Is Solar-Powered Stair Lift ‘Just Bonkers?’

That’s how the president of the Dartmoor Preservation Association characterizes a plan conceived by artist Alex Murdin to make Hay Tor Rocks, a popular tourist destination within the Dartmoor National Park, accessible to people with disabilities:

A controversial plan to install a 30ft solar powered stair lift to enable disabled people to reach the top of one of Dartmoor’s most popular tors has been described by a leading environmentalist as “just bonkers”.

Artist Alex Murdin also wants to install a 500-metre, zig zag granite pathway from a car park to enable those in wheelchairs to reach the stairlift at Hay Tor Rocks, which is visited by thousands of people every year.

Planning permission for the scheme has been submitted to the Dartmoor National Park Authority by Mr Murdin, who is collaborating on the project with architect Nick Childs. But president of the Dartmoor Preservation Association, Kate Ashbrook, said the plan was “just bonkers” and what was being proposed was “a hideous eyesore”.

As I’m also involved in disability issues at work, the response by Ms. Ashbrook is doubly offensive. I certainly understand wanting to preserve natural beauty, but if tourists are already climbing to the top of the Tor, access for people with disabilities seems only fair. The fact that Murdin envisions the lift as solar-powered creates a win-win situation in my mind. I’m guessing the Preservation Board isn’t so concerned with preservation that they’d keep all tourists off the rocks…

From Yahoo! UK via Eco-Friend

Categories: disability, accessibility, solar, innovation, nationalpark, UK

posted by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg @ 8:47 PM

http://sustainablog.blogspot.com/2006/07/is-solar-powered-stair-lift-just.html

BBC Website 03 07 06

Our reporter asked visitors for their views on the plan:

“It extends the advantage of the tourist, if there’s an easy way of obtaining the beauty of this place it would be good value on its own.”

“It’s a good idea, if it enhances it for other people then all well and good.”

“If people want to come up then it’s fair enough. It’s not just us, it’s disabled people who can visit then as well, it’s not going to change it dramatically so I think it’s a good idea.

“We’re not getting any younger so it looks brilliant! I think it’s good people can get about to where they want to go, I’ve nursed most of my life and I know people who would love to visit.”

Against

E-mails

Sent: 26 June 2006 13:31

To: iambuying@stairwaytoheaven.me.uk

Subject: walk don’t work

Thanks for Walk don’t walk info.

Just a few comments on idea of stairlift/granite path:

The visualisation of `zig zag’ path. People tend to take direct route and would probably go straight up (you can see this in the countless `self made’ paths across grass areas/parks etc etc). Some days there is a lot of human traffic going up to Haytor. Path would have to be far wider than depicted to accommodate them all. Wouldn’t it be better to have a set of `sculptural bollards’/images carved into stone/low level standing stones bordering the area to/from Haytor – then it will be much more `sensitive’ and interesting than a granite path. These stones/set of `images’ would/might encourage people to stay to path by giving them a visual route/sculpture trail that would be far more in keeping with the landscape and might keep them going from one `sculpture’ to the next, rather than a solid man made utilitarian line driving through it.

Stair lift: I know that `access’ is a modern buzz word/concept. The cost of would be that the dignity of the Tor might/would get lost, and then, we as humans lose dignity too. There are so few places in this little island where humans are  secondary, and I think it’s important that at times humans are indeed secondary. It’s important to have places which remind us of our limitations and our humility, and we gladly/willingly submit to them. There is a kind of `spirituality’ that comes with that kind of contact with Nature, and so few times and places where that’s possible. The world should not all become a theme park for our amusement.

Both granite path and stair lift contain humans in a `transport system’, which could mean you never need to `touch’ Dartmoor, or at least that’s the message!

Stair lift would also rise big Health and Safety issues – high winds/lift breaking down. Might need some serious PL Insurance.

You might find this out of keeping with someone who wants to place strange arty features in a landscape. There is of course a big difference between temporary and permanent artworks. Well………it’s just that Dartmoor is a bit special! So really it needs a lot of thinking about, about what would be gained and what would be lost. In that respect, the questionnaire at the back of the `Dartmoor is mine’ seems to suggest that no such thinking is happening. Besides that, I don’t want Dartmoor to be mine!
—–Original Message—–
From: Richard Doney
Sent: 03 July 2006 12:31
To: iambuying@stairwaytoheaven.me.uk
Subject: <kein Betreff>

Dear Sir / Madam,

I am writing to urge you to withdraw your application for a stairlift at Haytor Rocks, although I do support the idea of a pathway to the foot of the rocks. As someone who has helped to push a severley disabled secondary school student in his wheelchair around Dartmoor on a 25km Duke of Edinburgh expedition, I have a full understanding of the issues surrounding accessibility to the National Park. I do however likewise know from my own experience that there are a great deal of other places on Dartmoor which can be enjoyed by disabled people, and therefore deem it unnecessary to change the outer appearance of Haytor Rocks and incur the ongoing associated costs of such a project. Surely, money could be better invested in building suitable paths all ov er the moor, rather than at just this one spot? I think your efforts in this area would be met by much more support.

Best regards,

Richard Doney

—–Original Message—–
From: ian simpson
Sent: 03 July 2006 12:37
To: iambuying@stairwaytoheaven.me.uk
Subject:

just because it can be done ,does not mean it should be done

get a sense of proprotion

ian

—–Original Message—–
From: geoff mead
Sent: 03 July 2006 13:14
To: iambuying@stairwaytoheaven.me.uk
Subject: Stairlift on Haytor and access to the countryside

I am afraid I am whole-heartedly against any project to install equipment to improve access to natural features such as Haytor.

While I have considerable sympathy for those whose disabilities make it hard for them to access areas, the solution is not to bring the level of mobility required down to the lowest level as this results in a massive loss of amenity for those who are able bodied.

The recently completed funicular railway project on  Cairngorm is a case in point though the argument was largely economic in that case. Despite the strong arguments by the environmentalists and walking/mountaineering fraternity, that project went ahead and is a massive eyesore as well as being likely to be cited when other similar projects are planned in the future (the foot-in-the-door effect).

How does one draw a line when ability is concerned? Should I expect facilities to be constructed to enable me to stand on top of mountains previously scalable only by talented mountaineers? There is an argument for this and indeed it happens in many places where one is able to purchase a helicopter ride onto high glaciers. However the noise and intrusion degrade the experience of those who choose to ascend on foot (and have the ability to do so) and I would prefer such activities not to take place.

Regards

Geoff Mead
—–Original Message—–
From: martin kocsis
Sent: 03 July 2006 15:48
To: iambuying@stairwaytoheaven.me.uk
Subject: haytor

hi,

having read through your “dartmoor is mine” leaflet i feel that feed back is necessary.

interesting email address…i am buying? i think this is what the internet community knows as a ‘troll’…ie not at all serious or real, just someone’s little joke. however, if it turns out to be real, then here’s a considered response.
firstly, the title is rather grandiose. dartmoor is no more yours than it is mine. you (or whoever ‘mine’ refers to) do not have any particular claim on the land. it sounds rather arrogant to declare that you have a ‘right’ to it…you do not!

the path to the tor has been badly ‘thought out’. straight lines are not natural and so they clash with the natural landscape in a way that is nothing but detrimental. a little forethought would have produced a path that blends into the landscape.

the results from your access survey simply don’t make any sense. level access? physical access? interpretative access? what do these responses mean? how many respondees did you get? it all sounds a bit wierd…a better, simpler question would have been “do you think that there should be more access to haytor for disabled people? yes, no or don’t know”  february is an odd time to conduct a survey. try june or july at the weekend!

your stairlift. i appreciate that these days, everyone believes that they have a ‘right’ to have the same as everyone else, and that is seen as criminal and unforgiveable to ‘descriminate’ against someone because they are disbaled in some way. unfortunately this “i know my human rights” attitude is the very thing that holds such people back.

the whole idea is ridiculous. one of my friends is now a paraplegic as a result of a paragliding accident. he knows that there are limitations to his life. i showed him this leaflet and his response is unprintable! suffice to say that creating further damage to an already beleagured countryside is not the way forward. how many disbaled outdoor enthusiasts have you asked, out of interest? this is a non starter that deserves all the ridicule it gets.

if someone is disabled they have to face the simple fact that there will be things they are unable to do. this is not ‘evil’, and this is not ‘despicable’, it’s just life!

cheers now

martin

ps please feel free to respond to my feedback, if you are serious.
—–Original Message—–
From: Tony Blair
Sent: 03 July 2006 16:24
To: iambuying@stairwaytoheaven.me.uk
Subject: stairway

“We hear a lot about the importance of equal access to the

countryside,” he said.

And so we do

“This planning application is designed to test the National Park’s commitment to that.

Really?

“I have a father with polio. Why should he have to sit in the car park?”

He doesn’t, just take him to literally BILLIONS of other locations on the planet he can access, or if he is that hell bent on getting to the top of a lump of rock sling a rope round his waist and pull hard.

In my humble opinion you are a fucking dickbrain and no better than the quarrying conglomerates ripping the national parks to bits for profit.

 

—–Original Message—–
From: Buttoneer
Sent: 04 July 2006 10:29
To: iambuying@stairwaytoheaven.me.uk
Subject: Haytor Rock

Hi there,

I heard about your proposed project to install a chairlift to the top of Haytor Rock on Palm 105.5 FM and would like to say what a wonderful idea it is.

But why stop there? Maybe one could be installed on Ben Nevis. It could run from the bottom of the mountain to the very peak. Another, even bigger challange would be to install another one on Mount Everest. Or what about the Pyramids? A smaller chairlift could carry people to the very top of each one.

Ayers Rock in Australia. You could fit one to that icon of Australian natural history and paint it red in order to blend it in to its surroundings, similar to the grey paint on your proposed Haytor Rock chairlift!

The ultimate challange however, would not only benefit your target section of the public, but also NASA. A chairlift to the Moon! It would cut out the need of all those tiresome and potentially dangerous rockets.

When I heard your comments on radio, I thought it was April 1st. I’ve never heard such nonsense!
—–Original Message—–
From: Lynne
Sent: 04 July 2006 14:01
To: iambuying@stairwaytoheaven.me.uk
Subject: stairway to everest??

I’d like to walk to everest base camp – age,knees and ankles prevent me from doing that – I can get to grips with that – why cant you and the people you represent do like wise – use your time,money and imagination in a more sensible way – if you are not able bodied get a grip and get on with doing somrthing you can manage.

Aside from all that – how dare you presume to deface a beautiful part of our Dartmoor.

Yours

In dispair of common sense
—–Original Message—–
From: R SHAW
Sent: 06 August 2006 21:47
To: iambuying@stairwaytoheaven.me.uk
Subject: Haytor

hello, i admire your enthusiam for promoting inclusion in the environment, and as someone who works with and loves people with learning dissabilities and mulitiple disabilities, i feel i have a valid view.

i am born and bred in Bovey Tracey, and now live in Brixham, and we are never short o beautiful and inspiring places to visit, with all levels of mobility.

Haytor is alreadyscarred beyond repair, due to mans footprints. the countryside unwritten rule is o take only ,memories and leave only footprints.

To install what you are proposingf would make access easier for te minority, but would compromise the habitat and biodiversity of Dartmoor, and i am sure does not fi in with the Biodiversity Action Plan.

I have a n imensely strong spiritual linc to Haytor, and feel that by encouraging  this would compromise the conservation of the area, and take away the raw aura of the place. common guys, everyone i have mentioned this to, has said that this is just going too far.

Yours sinceerly B. Shaw.

Between

Chat rooms

Thread from bbc.co.uk/devon 03 06 06

Message 2 – posted by henrycriss, 6 Hours Ago

I think that access for disabled people to the wonderful sites there are on Dartmoor which are already accessible to all us able-bodied ones would be a vast improvement to the quality of life of those who want it. When one considers the increasing and increasingly ageing population of this part of England, it could only be a popular move for most people. I certainly wouldn’t like to keep my mother sitting immobilised in the car park at various places whilst I was off enjoying myself – therefore I probably wouldn’t go there in the first place. I would suggest, though, that this accessibility be discreet/unobtrusive, but obvious.
Another point I would like to put forward – can the provision of public toilets be improved/increased, please ??

 

Message 3 – posted by AlanOntario, 5 Hours Ago

Stair lifts to the top Hay Tor. Public toilets all over the moor. This has to be “tongue in cheek”. Friends, Dartmoor is one of the last wild and natural places left in the beautiful county of Devon. While I can understand the desire of people with disabilities to be able to experience everything; there are many things that I would like to do but cannot for various reasons. Reaching the top of a tor via a lift is not the same as climbing it and would not give the same sense of achievment. I believe that in our rush to make everything and everyone the same takes away from the joy of being an individual. To those who have a problem with leaving their loved one or friend in the car in the parking lot while they go off to enjoy themselves, could I suggest that they re-visit the area to make the climb. Just the joy of traveling along the roads and taking in all the wonderful views would give, I suggest, a lot of joy. The suggestion of any kind of construction on the moor fills me with apprehention, as I feel that once the developers of any stripe get their diggers up there it will be the end of it as a natural wonder and that would be sad for us and future generation

 

Message 4 – posted by Effervescent-Fred, 5 Hours Ago

They need a chairlift just for street level it’s that full of old un’s

 

Message 5 – posted by John of Paddington, 1 Hour Ago

Chair lift on Hay Tor, this is an Art Sudent Gag. How are the ‘Non abiant’ to get to the foot of Hay Tor? I recall a meeting many years ago about disabled access to the Moor, yes certain paths were, or could be made, more wheelchair accessable, the Moor is wild Country and unless one turned it into a flat ‘Runway’ it would never be wholly accessable to persons with a physical handicap. It would be far better if time and money was spent making our towns more accessable, drop kerbs, smooth wide pavements (without cyclists) and shops that disabled can enter.

 

Message 6 – posted by Susie**, 34 Minutes Ago

So, we have to make do with running up and down the dropped kerbs in town and marveling at the flat, wide pavements do we. Strangely enough, I dont want to spend my life doing this, I want to explore the countryside, the moors and other fascinating places. Why should I be deprived of all this because I have difficulty in walking. Life is hard enough mate without being made to sit on the sidelines all the time and being told how grateful we are supposed to be.

 

Message 7 – posted by Devon Host Kevin, 6 Hours Ago

B Bolt wrote:
What rubbish to fit a stair lift. Disabled people have to accept they cannot do ALL the things able bodied can. I am visually impaired but don’t expect a running commentary of what it is like to climb haytor.

 

Message 8 – posted by Devon Host Kevin, 5 Hours Ago

George Whitfield wrote:
We bend over backwards to try and make sure that the mobility challenged have as much access as possible to what physically able people can enjoy. But defacing a great natural feature of Dartmoor to give access to the mobility challenged is unprintably stupid.
It is a publicity stunt that has worked for this singularly talentless “artist” because Spotlight was daft enough to give it airtime.
Wake up and spare us the fantasies of loonies and headline seekers pleas

Message 9 – posted by Devon Host Kevin, 5 Hours Ago

Rosemary Kind wrote:
Why not build a hidden lift inside Haytor, it wouldn’t detract from he visual image and the less abled could have access to the top. The staircase is a dreadful idea.

 

Message 10 – posted by Devon Host Kevin, 5 Hours Ago

Jason Radmore wrote:
We could build a road straight to the top of the tor, and maybe to all of the tors on Dartmoor along with the stairlift just so people who are maybe a bit unfit could get to the top of all the tors as well. Or maybe we could persuade the Egyptians to build stairlift up the pyramids so that can be accessed! Or perhaps a stairlift in Michaelangelos chapel so the people who cannot see too well can get a bit closer to the painted ceiling. I think we have to all accept that there are things which we cannot do because of our own physical or mental capabilities lets not ruin beautiful places just to make them easier to access.

 

Message 11 – posted by John of Paddington**, 3 Hours Ago

DH Kevin, This is obiously the ‘Silly Season’ but disabled access is a serious subject. The Disability Act is now fully active but to look at many shops you would not think so. If you provide a Service, any service, you must be able to give that service to everyone regarless of diability. Go round your local town and see how many shops have steps and no call button, how many have still doors, how many, and this includes Supermarkets, have ailes that are too narrow for a chair or are blocked by displays. This is a silly gag, but it could be turned into something useful.

 

Message 12 – posted by Beautiful_and_useful, 6 Days Ago

I am amazed that everbody seems to think Haytor is a “wild” place as it is. Its got a major road going past it, has a tourist information centre and toliets, 3 car parks each with their own ice cream vans attached. Every year it’s visited by as many people as live in a small English town which accounts for the heavily eroded paths which are so wide they can been seen in satellite pictures of the Rocks. I hardly see how adding a small pipe to the side of the Rock would make any difference. If you really want to keep Haytor “unspoilt” remove the road and other paraphenalia and stop people going there in the first place.

 

Message 13 – posted by skipster2k2, 6 Days Ago

Why dont they employ a couple of guys with rockclimbing rigs to help disbled people ascend the tor if they want to. Would cost less than a stair lift, would keep a fe people in employment and will have minimal impact on the look of the tor. Problem solved. Next.

 

Message 14, 6 Days Ago

This posting has been hidden during moderation because it broke the House Rules in some way.

 

Message 15 – posted by whatasillyidea, 6 Days Ago

yeah i know just the people! or maybe they could put a helter skelter around the tor and people can get down that way!!

Message 16 – posted by harveyshideout, 6 Days Ago

We must be moderated

 

Message 17 – posted by whatasillyidea, 6 Days Ago

yeah i know just the guys! or they could put a helter skelter slide around the rocks to get down that way!

 

Message 18 – posted by AiredalePete, 2 Days Ago

I am able-bodied and I feel it is important that people with disabilities should have the right to enjoy all of the amenities that are available to me and to everyone else.
If Devon Council grant Planning Permission to this project I feel sure they will do so with the stipulation that the appearance of the stairlift should not in any way detract from the overall beauty of the area. A dark green stairlift, for example, would work just as well as one of any other colour and would blend in far better.
There is just one reservation, though: in the centre of Leeds where I live, there is an outdoor double escalator, installed about thirty years ago, which to my certain knowledge stopped working over twenty-five years ago. Since then it has remained a fenced-off eyesore and a reminder that mechanical things don’t generally survive well in the open air.
I would therefore point out that a mechanical stairlift, abandoned after five years with peeling green paint and a chain link fence round it with notice saying, ‘Danger – Do not Enter’, would neither benefit the disabled, nor add to the natural beauty of the area.

Message 19 – posted by Beautiful_and_useful, 22 Hours Ago

I’ve just noticed that Dartmoor National Park have now registered the application for the stairlift and that anyone can write in support online. Just go here www.dartmoor-npa.gov… and search for application number 0510/06
You’re either for it or against it !

 

 

This is Devon Website 25 07 06

 

Is it all fools day ?

Mike, Paignton

 

This is a wonderful idea but why stop at Haytor? All hills and mountains should have disabled access. It would also be a boon for those for are overweight or unfit.

john, exeter

 

This is ridiculous. Whilst I’m sure many disabled people would love to admire the view from the top of Haytor, I really can’t imagine any of those people who’ve ever been NEAR dartmoor would be glad to sacrifice it’s natural beauty so they can do so. It seems to me like the people putting this proposal forward have got their heads stuck in the politically-correct point scoring machine and any people who are backing it are thinking more about the principle it stands for than what it would actually do to one of the most beautifully untouched areas in the world.

Ben, Torquay

 

seriously – this really has to be a joke! a stairlift on dartmoor?! yes its unfair that disabled people have poor access but don’t ruin it for those who can.

james, newton abbot

 

This is absolutely ridiculous. surely the last thing we want to do on dartmoor is to build more things on it. this would ruin the scenery of haytor and quite honestly seems a joke. is it the first of april?

rich, newton abbot

 

surely everyone can see that that the stairlift is not a serious suggestion but a means of grabbing the attention of the media and the public in order to highlight the need for sensible access (i.e. the granite path) to dartmoor’s landmarks for the disabled and the infirm.

adam, torquay

 

You may be interested to know that this story made it on to the back page of the Irish Examiner where it publishes wacky stories from around the world!! Is this for real? I can understand some sort of access from the car park to Hay Tor but Hay Tor itself is dangerous enough for able bodied people, why would disabled people want to climb it? My husband is disabled and I know he would not wish to be on top of Hay Tor.

Miriam Luscombe, Fermoy, Co. Cork, Ireland

 

No-one can deny people equal rights and access to places that they wish to visit but there must be another way. A granite pathway is all well and good but how can a stair lift be anything other than an eyesore. What next special paths or roads on beaches near the sea line in case people have problems accessing the beach, rails on Berry Head Quarry and stair lifts there. Come on man get real, its interesting to note that this came from an artist and not a local one at that, who is not disable nor acting as a representative for such a group. It’s an attempt to draw the Council and National Parks Commission into an impossible permission by using an emotive argument that can easily be defeated by common sense and fact but which may not because of the fear of how they will be perceived if they say no. All that needs to be said is, its a protected area of outstanding beauty and it would spoil it. Granite path maybe!

BEN, BRIXHAM

 

Evening classes have been banned in South Devon,toilets closed and licences refused because of lack of wheel chair access .Why not close Heytor Rocks to the general public ? It’s a simple low cost solution .

Mike, Paignton

 

Blog on snopes.com

 

Stoneage Dinosaur A Boy Named Subaru posted 03. July 2006 03:34

How one man is applying for a stairlift on Dartmoor

quote:

Planning permission is being sought for a stairlift on one of Dartmoor’s most iconic natural rock formations.

I’m all for disabled access for public buildings wherever possible, but this seems to be going a bit too far. What next – a stairlift up Ben Nevis?

 

Andrew of Ware, England Vauxhall Ford now posted 03. July 2006 03:54 PM

This is the day I have been dreading. I read about the plans yesterday and thought it was a joke. Maybe it is and maybe all he is trying to do is to ‘raise awareness’. If he is then he is being stupid because he will be giving campaingers for equal rights a bad name.
I am dreading the day when, for example, the turrets of ancient castles will be closed. ‘If disable people cannot have access to the tops of these turrets then no-one should.’ These people may end up having places, even countryside closed, because if it ‘can’t be equal access to all’ then it should be ‘access for none’.
——————– Andrew, Ware, England

Posts: 1149 | From: Ware, England | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged |

 

Stoneage Dinosaur A Boy Named Subaru posted 03. July 2006 03:58 PM

Well, he says the application is “deadly serious” and he has the backing of disabled groups, so it doesn’t look like he is just doing it to make a point.

Posts: 521 | From: Durham, England | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged |

 

Mosherette I’m in Love with My Car posted 03. July 2006 04:03 PM

quote:

Originally posted by Stoneage Dinosaur: What next – a stairlift up Ben Nevis?

Well, there *is* a train up Snowdon…
——————– No one need post emetophobe warnings for me anymore. Thank you.
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Archie2K Tennessee Ernie Ford posted 03. July 2006 04:08 PM

quote:

“We hear a lot about the importance of equal access to the countryside,” he said.

This kinda got my goat. There’s no such thing as equal access to the countryside. I enjoy hiking and go on some hikes which are long and have steep gradients or uneven paths. My Mother would be unable to complete such a walk hence there isn’t equal access. The countryside isn’t designed and as such can’t be designed to have equal access. Equal access to visitors centres and the like certainly… but come on…
This thread does give me a chance to link to someone I met on holiday last year, Australian hiker Warren MacDonald whose legs were crushed by a boulder in 1998. Undeterred, he was able to climb Kilamanjiro on short prosthetics with a Tanzanian boy who was born with no arms. The story is rather impressive. Such a nice guy too.

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Jayguar Temple Moonlight Sonata posted 03. July 2006 04:14 PM

quote:

Originally posted by Andrew of Ware, England: I am dreading the day when, for example, the turrets of ancient castles will be closed. ‘If disable people cannot have access to the tops of these turrets then no-one should.’ These people may end up having places, even countryside closed, because if it ‘can’t be equal access to all’ then it should be ‘access for none’.

The next logical step just occurred to me: No art museums and no symphony orchestras because there’s no access for the blind and the deaf, respectively.
——————– In this house, we obey the laws of thermodynamics!

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Neffti Neffti Bang Bang Peugeot Me Whatcha Got posted 03. July 2006 06:52 PM

I’m quite familiar with Haytor, and when I heard about this my jaw dropped too.
I think the reason this jolts is because igneous rocks can’t be held accountable for their inconvenience. If there was a building with information about Haytor, then everyone should be able to get to that. Heck if someone had bought and was charging admission to Haytor (shudders) that might be something else entirely.
Googling, Alex Murdin is also the name of the Director of the Devon Guild of Craftsmen and the article calls him an artist. I think it’s a publicity stunt.

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Embra Land Rover the Rainbow posted 04. July 2006 12:31 PM

Yes, I think there is a jolt to this because the incongruity of a piece of mechanical equipment on a relatively small natural feature.
I think it’s certainly a publicity stunt, but as the man says, it’s designed to raise awareness of the difficulties a lot of people face in getting access even to “easy” parts of the countryside.
The tor does already have steps carved into it. Mountains have cable cars, chairlifts, rack railways, fixed ropes, steps, you name it. We have roads, car-parks, and artificial paths. This doesn’t set a precedent for altering the natural landscape so that more human beings can pootle about over its surface: we’ve been doing that for years. A stairlift may be out of place because of its scale, but I can’t see how it’s “PC gone mad” just because the guy is talking about old and disabled folk rather than able-bodied walkers.
No-one has a “right” to a nice view or a day out. As others have said, no-one designed the tor with the express purpose of keeping people who couldn’t walk from seeing a nice view. But could amenities in the countryside be planned better? What small amendments could be made that might offer better access for everyone? How hard do you have to work in order to “deserve” your view from the top of a hill?
——————– I want you to lay down your life, Perkins. We need a futile gesture at this stage. It will raise the whole tone of the war.

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Tarquin Farquart A Boy Named Subaru posted 04. July 2006 12:39 PM

quote:

Originally posted by Andrew of Ware, England: This is the day I have been dreading. I read about the plans yesterday and thought it was a joke. Maybe it is and maybe all he is trying to do is to ‘raise awareness’. If he is then he is being stupid because he will be giving campaingers for equal rights a bad name.
I am dreading the day when, for example, the turrets of ancient castles will be closed. ‘If disable people cannot have access to the tops of these turrets then no-one should.’ These people may end up having places, even countryside closed, because if it ‘can’t be equal access to all’ then it should be ‘access for none’.

I believe that the letter of the law is ‘equal access where possible’. For example, there are buildings that, are inaccesable to anyone in a wheelchair. I believe such places would have to attemptto become accessable where reasonably possible, but I don’t think they can be shut down for not being.
——————– I shall baffle you with cabbages and rhinoceroses in the kitchen and incessant quotations from “Now We Are Six” through the mouthpiece of Lord Snooty’s giant poisoned electric head. So there!

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Embra Land Rover the Rainbow posted 04. July 2006 12:57 PM

The key phrase in Disability discrimination paw is “reasonable adjustments”. Service providers (which would include the owners of historic buildings open to the public) must make reasonable adjustments to physical features to allow access to disabled people. Reasonableness is one of those slippery legal concepts that’s open to challenge at any time but at the same time should result in a minimum of really oddball results.
On the current definition I don’t know if “physical features” includes natural formations, or if it’s intended to apply only to man-made items. The examples of “physical features” given on the Disability Rights Commission website includes things like styles, fences and paths, but not hills or trees.
——————– I want you to lay down your life, Perkins. We need a futile gesture at this stage. It will raise the whole tone of the war.

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Neffti Neffti Bang Bang Peugeot Me Whatcha Got posted 04. July 2006 04:45 PM

Embra, that’s interesting about physical features.
I feel that people can no more claim “rights” to a view from the top of Haytor than I can to a view from the top of Everest, or the top of a pine tree, or the bottom of a ravine. However I might have to think more about this, as what I’ve just said would slightly contradict rights of access to public or common land. Hmmm, Alex Murdin has pinned me down. Fancy that!

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Archie2K Tennessee Ernie Ford posted 04. July 2006 05:16 PM

If a footpath has been built then it should be accessible within reason to everyone. If a footpath has been designated but left unaltered then it should be accessible to those with the necessary fitness, skill and training.

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Jay Tea Mitsubishi Loves You posted 04. July 2006 05:22 PM

Off-road wheelchair – problem solved

I’ve been to Haytor, if that’s where the girl is buried, the one with the mystery flowers…
——————– This is where I come up with something right? Something really clever…

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Andrew of Ware, England Vauxhall Ford now posted 05. July 2006 10:31 AM

Thanks for that Jay Tea. Now as well as country lanes being clogged up by 4x4s and people carriers I will have my toes run over by caterpillar track wheelchairs on country paths.
Going back to what Tarquin said about equal access where possible. then I suppose that some people/groups may claim that it is possible to put stair lifts up mountains so they should be put in.
Of course, there is also the problem of the electrical supply. A wind farm could be put up there as well. Now that would be an improvement!
——————– Andrew, Ware, England

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Neffti Neffti Bang Bang Peugeot Me Whatcha Got posted 05. July 2006 10:52 AM

quote:

Originally posted by Andrew of Ware, England:
Of course, there is also the problem of the electrical supply. A wind farm could be put up there as well. Now that would be an improvement!

That’s true, Andrew, I hadn’t thought of that. Next time I’m on Dartmoor I’ll pay more attention to how many streetlights etc there are around to get an idea of what the grid’s like. I certainly don’t remember seeing any pylons around Haytor.
Plus, the huge equipment that would be needed up there for some considerable time to lay a large granite path up the approach, let alone the stairlift. Then the staff working on it would need their portaloos and food supplies. Add it all together and you’re looking at Haytor being inaccesible to most people who use the gentle approach from the car park for quite some time.
It’s got to be a publicity stunt.

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Is Solar-Powered Stair Lift ‘Just Bonkers?’

That’s how the president of the Dartmoor Preservation Association characterizes a plan conceived by artist Alex Murdin to make Hay Tor Rocks, a popular tourist destination within the Dartmoor National Park, accessible to people with disabilities:

A controversial plan to install a 30ft solar powered stair lift to enable disabled people to reach the top of one of Dartmoor’s most popular tors has been described by a leading environmentalist as “just bonkers”.

Artist Alex Murdin also wants to install a 500-metre, zig zag granite pathway from a car park to enable those in wheelchairs to reach the stairlift at Hay Tor Rocks, which is visited by thousands of people every year.

Planning permission for the scheme has been submitted to the Dartmoor National Park Authority by Mr Murdin, who is collaborating on the project with architect Nick Childs. But president of the Dartmoor Preservation Association, Kate Ashbrook, said the plan was “just bonkers” and what was being proposed was “a hideous eyesore”.

As I’m also involved in disability issues at work, the response by Ms. Ashbrook is doubly offensive. I certainly understand wanting to preserve natural beauty, but if tourists are already climbing to the top of the Tor, access for people with disabilities seems only fair. The fact that Murdin envisions the lift as solar-powered creates a win-win situation in my mind. I’m guessing the Preservation Board isn’t so concerned with preservation that they’d keep all tourists off the rocks…
From Yahoo! UK via Eco-Friend
Categories: disability, accessibility, solar, innovation, nationalpark, UK

posted by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg @ 8:47 PM

http://sustainablog.blogspot.com/2006/07/is-solar-powered-stair-lift-just.html

 

 

Topic – Haytor stairlift

by – The bandit on – 03 Jul 2006

by – Chris Fryer on – 03 Jul 2006

In reply to The bandit: I’m pushing for a chairlift all the way from the carpark. That hill is a bitch.

by – Little Brew on – 03 Jul 2006

In reply to The bandit: oh FFS! this is taking equal oppertunities too the limit! ok so i am in favour of open access for all! but it wll deface the view of the landscape and damage the hill!
i am sure to be pulled apart for these comments, but it is like saying all shelves in shops should be put at a height that all wheelchair users can reach!!! and for that fact, whu not put stairlifts everyehere there is not a lift or ramp! what about the gians causeway?!?!
sorry.
Jess.x

by – Jason Kirk on – 03 Jul 2006

In reply to The bandit: http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?n=189911

by – Tyler on – 03 Jul 2006

In reply to Little Brew:
> but it is like saying all shelves in shops should be put at a height that all wheelchair users can reach!!!
And what is so preposterous about that suggestion. All new build houses have to be designed with disabled access in mind.

by – majormajormajormajor on – 03 Jul 2006

In reply to The bandit:
Can we get a slide down the other side?

by – dave657 on – 03 Jul 2006

In reply to The bandit:
would make setting up a top rope a bit easier

by – John Lisle on – 03 Jul 2006

In reply to Little Brew: > > i am sure to be pulled apart for these comments, but it is like saying all shelves in shops should be put at a height that all wheelchair users can reach!!!
The building regulations people have told us that all our new light switches in the extension need to be at wiast hieght for this very reason. The rest of the house is Edwardian and we’d hoped to keep it all matching….
: (
John

by – SI A on – 03 Jul 2006

In reply to John Lisle:
you could argue that.

by – Little Brew on – 03 Jul 2006

In reply to John Lisle: ok so light swithces i can understand, and also door handles…. but putting a big electrical eyesaw on a lovely hill?!?!?!?!
Jess.x

by – Ste Brom on – 03 Jul 2006

In reply to The bandit: Is this coming from an area that cant secure access to vixen tor?

by – mostly harmless on – 03 Jul 2006

In reply to The bandit: Have to admit when I heard this on radio4 this morning my first thoughts were “april fool”.
Dave

by – John Lisle on – 03 Jul 2006

In reply to John Lisle: aAAARGH
…HEIGHT… I meant; sorry

by – Barrington on – 03 Jul 2006

In reply to John Lisle: Count yourself lucky. I’ve just had the same problem with an existing room! The power-points on opposite walls are now at different heights – and as soon as the certificate is signed they’ll be changed. How pointless!!

by – Mark Kemball on – 03 Jul 2006

In reply to The bandit: My climbing partner Nic has a brother with quite bad cerebal palsy he has been over most of Dartmoor – Nic just picks him up and carries him.

by – rich on – 03 Jul 2006

In reply to Little Brew: > (In reply to The bandit) oh FFS! this is taking equal oppertunities too the limit! ok so i am in favour of open access for all! but it wll deface the view of the landscape and damage the hill!
“designed to raise questions about who really has access to Britain’s wild landscapes.”
you’re clearly not in favour of open access for ‘all’ you don’t believe for example that wheelchair users, people who can only walk with a frame and so on should be given access to the top of that rock equal to those people who can climb up it unaided
i’m not criticising that view by the way but it is your view (i’d say)

by – Little Brew on – 03 Jul 2006

In reply to rich: you could argue that all rock faces should have this installed, for example the pinnacle t symonds yat has some lovely views from the top but only if you lead sever and are happy with the exposure?!? should we put a lift in?
i agree that people with a disability should be provided with the means to access all areas of the country, but does this in turn mean we sacrifice the view in favor of an ugly stair lift?!? or install a wooden walkway ramp? and in turn i cant get to the top of Everest due to the cot, but i want to see the view from the top of that, will someone do something about that for me? no, because it is not a practical thing to do! so in turn installing a powered stair lift to a rock face is not a practical solution!
Jess.x

by – Ste Brom on – 03 Jul 2006

In reply to rich: For the benefit of the minority at the detriment to the majority and the environment. Tough decision, slightly callous, but stick the ramp up yer bum.
Access for all where practical and does not defeat the object of the excercise.

by – Stefan Lloyd on – 03 Jul 2006

In reply to The bandit:
http://www.wayswithwords.co.uk/pdf/VOICE.prog.06.pdf
“Alex Murdin explores notions of place, power and politics in new work based on interventions in a nationalised landscape, Dartmoor National Park. Using the language of campaigning, and engagement with the planning system, his installations propose that possession is only 1/10th of the law. He explores the politicisation of access and the rules and values governing public admission to ‘wild’ places. Farming versus leisure; romanticism versus access; who wins in the new battle for the landscape?”
I doubt this is actually a serious proposal. It seems more like performance art. Does he own the land? Does he have the money?

by – rich on – 03 Jul 2006

In reply to Little Brew: i’m not arguing with you particularly – the planning application is designed to make you think so i’m thinking and what i’m thinking is that ‘we’ do draw a line with the equal access thing and will probably always ‘have’ to do so – where the line is drawn and on what basis is an interesting question though no?
in a sense all us climber types are even more ‘exclusive’ seeking to restrict the access of able-bodied non-climbers from chunks of ‘open-access’ ground that just happen to be a bit steeper than some other bits – a via ferrata up the idwal slabs would be a marvelous thing for lots of people but there isn’t one so most people never get to stand on that ledge . . .

by – sutty on – 03 Jul 2006

In reply to Barrington:
> The power-points on opposite walls are now at different heights – and as soon as the certificate is signed they’ll be changed. How pointless!!
Pointless having them at a reachable height or you trying to void the regulations?
You will have to put them back to the regs height if you move so learn to live with them, you may be glad you did should you suddenly have an illness that stops you getting down to low sockets. Are you also going to lower your light switches to the same level in the pursuit of aesthetics?

by – majormajormajormajor on – 03 Jul 2006

In reply to The bandit:
Particularly daft when you see the streams of tourists who bothered walking in in the first place coming back with a “What was all that about?” look on their face. There are plenty of other views on the moor with access for all to enjoy.
Perhaps they should be doing something about the erosion to the path and encouraging people to visit other parts of the moor, like Vixen tour ;-)
Or maybe a conveyor belt for all?

by – Little Brew on – 03 Jul 2006

In reply to rich: > (In reply to Little Brew) i’m not arguing with you particularly –
sorry it seem you were! you are forgiven…am i?
i do agree with you though, where do you draw the line on access to all? and what do you define as access, being able to view the hill, or standing on top of it?!? oh and i have seen the ledge on Idwal, but had only my mom and dad with me the day i was there, so no climbing for me, as it is 30 years+ sisnc my dad climbed any where, and probably longer since he climbed at Idwal.
Jess.x

by – toad on – 03 Jul 2006

In reply to Stefan Lloyd: Sounds like he’s wasting public money that could be spent on genuine access improvements in the name of his art / self publicity. One less textured interpretive panel / access stile / lowered kerb somewhere else, one more glass of chilled chablis at his next performance/ installation.

by – rich on – 03 Jul 2006

In reply to Little Brew: > (In reply to rich) > […] > > sorry it seem you were! you are forgiven…am i?
not arguing for arguing sake just ‘driving out discourse’ as they say
i’ll do better than forgiving – i’ll absolve you completely

by – Mark Kemball on – 03 Jul 2006

In reply to rich: The point of my earlier post is that places like the top of Haytor are accesable to many disabled people if they realy want to get there and are prepared to make an effort. What is the point in making beautiful wild scenary “accessable to all” if in doing so you destroy the very wildness and beauty that they are coming to see?

by – Little Brew on – 03 Jul 2006

In reply to rich:
Thank you =)
Jess.xxx

by – rich on – 03 Jul 2006

In reply to Mark Kemball: > (In reply to rich) The point of my earlier post is that places like the top of Haytor are accesable to many disabled people if they realy want to get there and are prepared to make an effort.
i’ve never been there myself so to avoid any confusion what ‘effort’ would someone without any legs have to exert to get to the top?

by – rich on – 03 Jul 2006

In reply to Little Brew: ‘s’nothing . . .

by – Stefan Lloyd on – 03 Jul 2006

In reply to rich:
> i’ve never been there myself so to avoid any confusion what ‘effort’ would someone without any legs have to exert to get to the top?
It’s a walk on slabby granite. In some places, steps have been hewn into the rock. It is steep and exposed enough that I was a bit worried about my dogs running around on it.

by – DerwentDiluted on – 04 Jul 2006

In reply to majormajormajormajor: > (In reply to The bandit) > > Can we get a slide down the other side?
Isn’t that Vandal and Anne?

by – JR on – 04 Jul 2006

In reply to The bandit:
apart from anything, i thought we’d erradicated polio in this country and most of the world!? Unless his father has had it for a long time?

by – Stefan Lloyd on – 04 Jul 2006

In reply to JR: There are plenty of people around in the UK who had polio as children.

by – toad on – 04 Jul 2006

In reply to JR: didn’t Ian Dury have childhood polio? It’s one of those diseases that typically you got in childhood and left you with a disability. Quite often you would partially “recover” but have problems recur in later life (quite a complex phenomenon, IIRC) I think his dad is probably old enough to have got it in childhood.

by – Mark Kemball on – 04 Jul 2006

In reply to rich: > (In reply to Mark Kemball) > […] > > i’ve never been there myself so to avoid any confusion what ‘effort’ would someone without any legs have to exert to get to the top?
Well, a reasonably rugged wheelchair would get you to the base of the Tor. To get to the top, you would need an adventurous spirit and a couple of sure footed fairly strong mates. Sure this is going to be hard work, but one would then have a feeling of achievment.

by – johncoxmysteriously on – 04 Jul 2006

In reply to rich:
> i’ve never been there myself so to avoid any confusion what ‘effort’ would someone without any legs have to exert to get to the top?
Dunno but a fiver says it would be less effort than Doug Scott had to exert to get down off the Ogre.
jcm

by – rich on – 04 Jul 2006

In reply to Mark Kemball: i can’t remember what i was saying yesetrday now and i’m too weary to try to recall it – i’d spend no effort trying to argue that there shold be ‘equal’ access to everwhere but i still think that exploring the edges of where equal/open etc. access should stop and how we define it and what the way we define it says about the way we thinking about the wider issues is quite interesting
johncox: almost certainly – that was grim reading

 

This is Devon Website 25 07 06

 

Is it all fools day ?

Mike, Paignton

 

This is a wonderful idea but why stop at Haytor? All hills and mountains should have disabled access. It would also be a boon for those for are overweight or unfit.

john, exeter

 

This is ridiculous. Whilst I’m sure many disabled people would love to admire the view from the top of Haytor, I really can’t imagine any of those people who’ve ever been NEAR dartmoor would be glad to sacrifice it’s natural beauty so they can do so. It seems to me like the people putting this proposal forward have got their heads stuck in the politically-correct point scoring machine and any people who are backing it are thinking more about the principle it stands for than what it would actually do to one of the most beautifully untouched areas in the world.

Ben, Torquay

 

seriously – this really has to be a joke! a stairlift on dartmoor?! yes its unfair that disabled people have poor access but don’t ruin it for those who can.

james, newton abbot

 

This is absolutely ridiculous. surely the last thing we want to do on dartmoor is to build more things on it. this would ruin the scenery of haytor and quite honestly seems a joke. is it the first of april?

rich, newton abbot

 

surely everyone can see that that the stairlift is not a serious suggestion but a means of grabbing the attention of the media and the public in order to highlight the need for sensible access (i.e. the granite path) to dartmoor’s landmarks for the disabled and the infirm.

adam, torquay

 

You may be interested to know that this story made it on to the back page of the Irish Examiner where it publishes wacky stories from around the world!! Is this for real? I can understand some sort of access from the car park to Hay Tor but Hay Tor itself is dangerous enough for able bodied people, why would disabled people want to climb it? My husband is disabled and I know he would not wish to be on top of Hay Tor.

Miriam Luscombe, Fermoy, Co. Cork, Ireland

 

No-one can deny people equal rights and access to places that they wish to visit but there must be another way. A granite pathway is all well and good but how can a stair lift be anything other than an eyesore. What next special paths or roads on beaches near the sea line in case people have problems accessing the beach, rails on Berry Head Quarry and stair lifts there. Come on man get real, its interesting to note that this came from an artist and not a local one at that, who is not disable nor acting as a representative for such a group. It’s an attempt to draw the Council and National Parks Commission into an impossible permission by using an emotive argument that can easily be defeated by common sense and fact but which may not because of the fear of how they will be perceived if they say no. All that needs to be said is, its a protected area of outstanding beauty and it would spoil it. Granite path maybe!

BEN, BRIXHAM

 

Evening classes have been banned in South Devon,toilets closed and licences refused because of lack of wheel chair access .Why not close Heytor Rocks to the general public ? It’s a simple low cost solution .

Mike, Paignton

 

 

http://www.ukriversguidebook.co.uk/forum/

 

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 12:09 pm    Post subject: How crazy can you get

I’ve just been informed of a scheme to put a Stanna Stair lift to the top of Haytor Rocks, Dartmoor. http://www.dartmoor-npa.gov.uk/index/planning/pl-devcontrol/pl-searchapplicationregister/application_register.htm The application reference is 0510/06 Is this what we should be doing to some of the most beautiful places in the south west. Or is it political correctness gone wrong. Discuss

 

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 12:23 pm    Post subject:

I know we have a train to the top of Snowdon but I have to say this new idea does seem a little absurd. I see that there is also a plan, subject to another application, to install a zig-zag footpath, presumably at 1:20 to allow wheelchair access to the top of the hill. So where else can people think it would be agood idea to install something similar? How about a waterslide down the Fairy Glen with an escalator back to the start. [img]http://www2.dartmoor-npa.gov.uk/WAM/display.do?extension=.pdf&id=180613&location=VOLUME1&contentType=application%2Fpdf&pageCount=1[/img]

 

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 12:38 pm    Post subject:

Ridiculous! Why would people want to do this? I once remember watching a holiday swap programme, where two families swapped their very different annual holidays with each other – an activity week in the Lakes and a drinking session / beach holiday on the Costas. The family who ended up in the Lakes made a great comment that I’ll never forget – “this would be so much better if they put a motorway right through it!” (I don’t know whether he had seen the M6…) Tom

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 1:05 pm    Post subject:

I’ve been thinking about this some more. If I was wheelchair bound, what would I provision like to see made available to help me enjoy the great outdoors? I haven’t come up with a proper answer to that question yet but I don’t think it would include a stair lift up a Dartmoor Tor. It might include some better footpaths.

 

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 1:14 pm    Post subject:

On the other hand, would you want to see the countryside change in such an extreme way in order for you to enjoy it? Ultimately, this may mean that the very thing you came to see / enjoy / experience no longer holds the same value, and you therefore have to find a new place to put your stairlift. As you say, improved footpaths could well be the way forward, perhaps with better provision from National Parks and other tourist destinations to provide facilities for people with specific needs, such as motorised wheelchairs available for hire. There is an estate local to me, who do actually do this. Obviously, they can only be used on specific paths, but is that an issue? One thing to think about. What percentage of people who actually need a stairlift to access the outdoors would use this facility, as opposed to just plain lazy people who just couldn’t be bothered with the walk? _________________

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 1:28 pm    Post subject:

I thought I’d also post that if anyone would like to make their point known the chap to write or email in disagreement is Christopher Hart [url]christopher.hart@dartmoor-npa.gov.uk[/url] We have to lodge our opinions by the 11th August. V

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 1:41 pm    Post subject:

Overview drawing: http://www2.dartmoor-npa.gov.uk/WAM/display.do?extension=.pdf&id=180613&location=VOLUME1&contentType=application%2Fpdf&pageCount=1

 

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 2:09 pm    Post subject:

Direct link: http://www2.dartmoor-npa.gov.uk/WAM/showCaseFile.do?councilName=Dartmoor+National+Park&appNumber=0510%2F06 I have registered my objection. Dartmoor should be kept as wild as possible, that is why people visit the moor. For those who cannot walk up to Haytor, it is clearly visible from the road. Those who can walk up to the Tor are probably capable of climbing it without the aid of a stairlift.

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 2:18 pm    Post subject:

 

nichburton wrote:

Overview drawing: http://www2.dartmoor-npa.gov.uk/WAM/display.do?extension=.pdf&id=180613&location=VOLUME1&contentType=application%2Fpdf&pageCount=1 That’s quite bizarre.

 

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 2:27 pm    Post subject:

I bet the architect is laughing all the way to the bank. A (no doubt) well-meaning charity has paid what could be thousands to prepare and submit this application. The application fee alone is £540!! I suppose it’s possible that the architect has taken it on pro bono, but it seems unlikely. They would choose something much more likely to succeed, not a whacky scheme like this. Steve Balcombe

 

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 2:51 pm    Post subject:

Doesn’t go far enough. They should put a slide down the other side. My objection has been registered.

 

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 4:13 pm    Post subject:

Terryg wrote:

Direct link: http://www2.dartmoor-npa.gov.uk/WAM/showCaseFile.do?councilName=Dartmoor+National+Park&appNumber=0510%2F06
I have registered my objection. Dartmoor should be kept as wild as possible, that is why people visit the moor. For those who cannot walk up to Haytor, it is clearly visible from the road. Those who can walk up to the Tor are probably capable of climbing it without the aid of a stairlift. Absolutely right – Dartmoor should be as wild as possible. so while we are at it – let us dig up all the roads. They are artificial and man made, just like stairlifts and footpaths designed for wheelchairs. If you can’t carry your boat up to Dartmeet from Ivybridge then tough. What you are saying Terry is that artificial access structures for cars and walkers (I.e. roads and footpaths) for your use are perfectly OK, but a different sort of artificial access structure for a different sort of need is not. On what basis do you make that argument? Simon Dawson

 

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 6:26 pm    Post subject:

No I am not saying that, do not try and put words in my mouth! I am saying lets try and keep some areas of the country wild for people to enjoy, and not build onto every bit of land that has not already got some form of structure on it.

 

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 6:57 pm    Post subject:

If you want Dartmoor to remain unspoilt then you have to ban people! That would include us paddlers. I paddle on Dartmoor knowing that for the most part I’ll see one or possibly two other groups (excepting the Dart), I’m not a great fan of the moor in the summer due to all the people. One thing however that gets me is people who drive for three hours and then park up get out of the car walk twenty or thirty metres to the cafe/van/toilet and then go home. If this scheme allows more people to get out of their cars and get to see the view from the top of Hay Tor then maybe like all those who walk/scramble up the Tor they will take inspiration and appreciate the beauty of the moor. I remember my first time in the Alps and thinking “why am I getting in a cable car to go climb that mountain?”, I normally walk the approach and then climb to the summit. Its an aid to get up the mountain, if you have ever been skiing then you would have used the aids everytime to get to the top (Unless you are proper hardcore and hiked into the backcountry powderfest or are liking your skiing with a nordic style). Any difference between a cable car and a chair ramp?

 

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 6:58 pm    Post subject:

However there is quite a lot of tors on Dartmoor and this one of the more touristy ones, so why cant you let just one have a lift installed. Having a look from the road is not the same thing otherwise everyone would do it. You try sitting in the car, while everyone else goes and does something you can not. Jak

 

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 7:27 pm    Post subject:

Sorry BUT it wont be used buy people in wheelchairs just lazy people anybody in a wheelchair or with missing limbs wanting to get up there are more than capable of getting up there ( I ve seen people in wheel chairs hack there Way through jungles and cross deserts ) The local borough would be far better thought of if they where to create some kind of weekend where people whom really want to get up there where helped as part of an event where able-boded people came together and helped anybody wanting to get to the top do so. It could help able body people under stand some of the things disabled people go through. Here in Warrington we have a disability weekend biggest in the UK. With people from all over the UK coming . With things like putting able boded people in wheel chairs and having them negotiate everyday obstacles to see through there eyes . Yes they want reasonable access but not people taking the pi** As for the railway up snowdon it wasn’t put there to take people up there Its part of history from the mining days it was there before tourism Not meant to offend I do no a little about this subject as my daughter is disabled and tries to be more independent than her to able boded brothers Dave.

 

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 7:41 pm    Post subject:

More on the issue http://www.bbc.co.uk/devon/content/articles/2006/07/03/haytor_stairlift_feature.shtml Absolutely crazy.

 

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 7:45 pm    Post subject:

It’s being designed by an artist. Still, at least he seems to know what he’s talking about…

Quote:

“There’s a lot of external stairlifts on the market and would last 50 years, it would be powered by solar electricity so it would be very sustainable and could last quite a long time.” I would be interested to see some more detailed plans, irrespective of my views on the other issues. _________________ Rich
http://su.nottingham.ac.uk/~canoe/ http://www.scumbagz.co.uk/

 

Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 8:09 pm    Post subject:

It gets even more hilarious
http://www.stairwaytoheaven.me.uk/ http://www.stairwaytoheaven.me.uk/home/feedback.htm

 

Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 12:31 am    Post subject:

Whilst I could possibly agree with a scheme if it was more discreet, I still think it will fall down on the yearly running costs. I can imagine the insurance cost would be fairly large per year, and due to the location it seems easy to vandalise. I have also yet to see anything detailing how it’s use would be controlled, so what is to stop kids arseing about on it all the time?

 

Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 9:15 am    Post subject:

God wrote:

from the road is not the same thing otherwise everyone would do it. You try sitting in the car, while everyone else goes and does something you can not. It’s not gonna help people get out of their cars, they are still going to have to make it up the hill to the chairlift.

 

Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 12:28 pm    Post subject:

The question that also arises is how long will it take to get vandalised? I understand disabled people might want to enjoy the view but ruining the view seems ridculous. Bob

 

Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 12:55 pm    Post subject:

Bob Flanagan III wrote:

The question that also arises is how long will it take to get vandalised? I understand disabled people might want to enjoy the view but ruining the view seems ridculous. Bob Doesn’t vandalism imply unplanned damage just for the hell of it? I suspect targetted destruction would happen a lot sooner. If this isn’t some kind of wind-up, then fortunately Mr Murden’s arguement that

Quote:

It’s a logical extension of things like the disability discrimination act that proposes all public buildings and urban places should be accessible

is thankfully flawed. Disability discrimination does not override protection of our heritage which is also thankfully protected. _________________ http://www.bertie.info/ – “Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, but rather to slide in sideways, totally worn out, shouting f**k, what a ride!!!”

 

Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 1:35 pm    Post subject:

Nightshift wrote: As for the railway up snowdon it wasn’t put there to take people up there Its part of history from the mining days it was there before tourism Dave. Um, not true. It was designed as a tourist attraction from the start, by the Snowdon Mountain Tramroad and Hotels Company – as a quick “google” would reveal… Snowdon national park authority website – http://www.eryri-npa.co.uk/

Quote: Very soon the mountain had become so popular that a Rev. John Parker could write in 1831: “There is no place more public than the higher ground of Eryri (Snowdonia) during the summer” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snowdon_Mountain_Railway

Wikipedia wrote: The idea of a railway to the summit of Snowdon was first proposed in 1869… …A plan to build a railway to the summit of Snowdon from Rhyd Ddu station on the North Wales Narrow Gauge Railway brought fears that Llanberis would lose its income from tourists, and the Snowdon Mountain Tramway and Hotel Company was formed to build the railway… The Wikipedia entry has some interesting stuff before it gets all train-spottery, but I’m far enough off-topic to quit now…

 

Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 2:00 pm    Post subject:

Norman Teasdale wrote:

Nightshift wrote:

As for the railway up snowdon it wasn’t put there to take people up there Its part of history from the mining days it was there before tourism Dave. Um, not true. It was designed as a tourist attraction from the start, by the Snowdon Mountain Tramroad and Hotels Company – as a quick “google” would reveal… Maybe, but you would hope UK planning has moved on a tad since allowing that to be built. As I recall (haven’t been to Haytor for over 10 years) you get great views from standing at the bottom of it. No ones missing out on that much by not being able to climb to the op of it?
What’s next, putting a chair lift up the Roaches, Stanage, Burbage, etc. Lets stick one up Cenotaph Corner, we don’t want people missing out on that!!!

 

Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 2:21 pm    Post subject:

Quote:

No act of parliament was required as the line was build entirely on private land obtained by the company without any need for the power of compulsory purchase. This was unusual for a passenger-carrying railway and also meant that the railway did not come under the jurisdiction of the Board of Trade. As taken from wikipedia regarding the building of Snowdon railway Haytor isn’t on private land

 

Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 4:02 pm    Post subject:

I’ve got very mixed feelings about the Snowdon railway. I’m sure it wouldn’t be built today, there would be an uproar. Yet it is a unique “feature” of the landscape, and arguably no worse than building a tourist attraction on any other piece of wild countryside. A couple of years ago a friend and I walked up Snowdon from Pen-y-Pass, while his parents – who are both in their 80s – went up on the train. It was great to be able to meet them up at the top. By the way, in the context of the Haytor discussion, they couldn’t manage the few yards from the cafe to the peak. They would have needed a stairlift.
We need a balance of accessible countryside and truly wild countryside. (But I still think the Haytor idea is a whacky scheme.) _________________ Steve Balcombe

 

Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 4:48 pm    Post subject:

I stand corrected about snowdon but the rest of my post still stands. Ill bet they haven’t even put it to the reveillant people IE the disabled Dave.

Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 4:50 pm    Post subject:

Why stop there? I did the three peaks challenge last September and surely that is discriminating against disabled people only offering them a means of getting up Snowdon. Not quite sure if itis cost effective but I’m sure there would be more takers to go up Ben Nevis and Scaffell Pike. Maybe the Haytor Idea is only a pilot scheme. Once you set a precedent for these things you’ll be amazed what other people will think of.

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