Making travel more accessible for those with limited mobility, the Route4U app is launching in Portsmouth
Route4U is a free app that helps users navigate which travel routes are best for those using wheelchairs, mobility scooters and even prams. Following a successful pilot scheme, the app will be launching in the UK for the first time in the city of Portsmouth.
Available on Apple and Android devices, the app was commissioned by the Portsmouth City Council. Developers have worked closely with the council to map out the city's pathways and routes to help users understand which route is the safest and most accessible.
The app itself will be able to indicate factors such as pavement obstacles, kerb heights, widths, inclines, surface quality and travel distances. It can be customised according to the user’s own abilities and offers turn-by-turn navigation.
Pam Turton, Assistant Director of Transport for the Portsmouth City Council commented to say:
“I'm delighted that we can support people with limited mobility by introducing Route4U to the city. This new technology will have many benefits for people who visit, work and live here. The app gives people more flexibility over their journeys, saving them time and enabling them to live fuller, more productive lives.
“I hope that this free app will give people the confidence to travel independently and make them less reliant on their cars for short distances, saving them money and improving their wellbeing.”
Members of the Portsmouth Disability Forum and other volunteers have travelled around the city to inform developers about any current obstacles and pavement conditions.
CMO of Route4U, Tamas Szekely said: “The infrastructure in Portsmouth is surprisingly well-built compared with other European cities, but temporary obstacles and pavement defects over time are simply unavoidable. Users can upload a report in less than 30 seconds, saving a lot of struggling for wheelchair users.”
As well as helping users plan travel, the app can help the council’s transport planners design, maintain and improve better pavement accessibility. Council officers can even access information about problematic areas in the city so they’re better able to prioritise pavement maintenance work.
Here’s hoping Portsmouth is the first of many UK cities to benefit from Route4U.