Mr Nigel Stuart’s letter to Motor Sport, July, referring to the facilities for the disabled at Beaulieu seems a little unfair in view of the special attention that we believe we have given to our disabled guests. Perhaps I should start by saying that disabled people are allowed access to the National Motor Museum, Palace House and Beaulieu Abbey free of charge. A special leaflet is prepared describing the access routes that are available around the grounds and in the historic buildings to make it possible for those in wheelchairs to see as much of the facilities as practical and safely sensible.
Access to the two main floor levels of the Motor Museum is possible from hard surfaced paths giving flat access to the two areas. Of course this entails a short journey of approximately 100 yards from one door to another, but this hardly seems unreasonable.
Access to the Motorcycle Gallery presents particular problems. When constructed it was our intention that visitors in wheelchairs should be able to gain access to this area on request by means of the hoist that is used for moving motorcycles into and out of the area. Although one may judge that this is an entirely safe procedure there are problems attached to it because the system does not seem to be acceptable to the Health and Safety Executive and there are considerable fire complications.
We shall, however, continue to try to solve the problem, but this is only one small aspect countered by the many positive ways in which we attempt to assist those who depend on a wheelchair for their mobility. We even have free wheelchairs available for those whose own may not be suitable for use in the grounds and a special day is arranged every year when a wide variety of topics of Special interest to the disabled are displayed for them and when particular efforts are made for them to see the very few places that are not normally accessible.
KG. Robinson, Managing Director, NMM, Beaulieu