A charity worker from Cheltenham will drive his 8mph wheelchair from his home to Cardiff, approximately 80 miles, as he wants Google to add a disabled route to it’s Google Maps feature.
Adam Stanton-Wharmby will aim complete the journey in three days, from today untill Sunday. The 34-year-old who has cerebal palsy will travel to the Welsh capital using national cycling routes.
He has called for Google to offer an option that picks out a disabled-friendly routes as currently there is nothing in place for people who have certain requirements when getting around. He said: “You don’t know where the pathways are and you don’t know if there are dropped kerbs or anything like that.” He added: “People in wheelchairs shouldn’t be sat waiting to go outside. It’s 2017. The London Tube app has a disabled route option but Google Maps doesn’t. It means you have to do more background work as a disabled person.”
Adam had to spend over 2 hours planning his route to Cardiff, having to rely on the use of satellite view feature to plan where he could safely drive his wheelchair.
Adam has also claimed that it could also be a valuable tool for people with prams and buggies too, as they may have special requirements also.
Adam, who works for the Charity Whizz-Kidz is also fundraising as part of his trip in the hope to raise £12,000 to go towards a new “live-changing” wheelchair. He said: “Many people fund-raise for lots of reasons and do the traditional stuff, but I thought ‘How can I incorporate fundraising for a wheelchair with showing everyone what I can do with a wheelchair?’”
A spokesman for Google has responded saying the firm is always working on ways to improve the map facility. They added that the map currently allows for places like restaurants and shops etc, have the ability to add wheelchair accessibly information, but they are working with a community of users to add to maps to continue improving the feature for everyone.