A Conversation for Poole, Dorset, UK
Poole - Wheelchair shoppers paradise
PQ Started conversation Jul 15, 2002
Go to Poole town centre mid week and you wont be able to move for trendy young things(!) in wheelchairs. The reason for this is simple: Poole towncentre is ideal for wheelchairs, especially self propelled. And as self-propelled usually means under 30 this is the best place for independant shopping.
If you look around the area for other shopping option what do you find... Bournemouth shopping centre consists of two enormous hills; Southampton good as it is, is difficult to get wide orange badge spaces and half of the shops don't have lifts (even in the new west quay centre many individual shops dont provide shop wide access as they build in "sub-floors" that arent connected to the main mall.); Dorchester? old lady shops and loads of high kerbs, same goes for Salisbury.
Compared to these Poole is a mecca for wheelchairs, parking is not always easy but its never as impossible as Southampton, the entire centre is flat, no hills, and the bits outside the Dolphin centre are pedestrianised so no kerbs. The only drawback is the doors into and out of the Dolphin centre which are heavy and only open one way, they do have buttons to open automatically but these automatic doors are always full of lazy walkers who can't be bothered to open a door manually.
Most of the main shops are represented (including new look, top shop, dorothy perkins, river island etc etc) some of the more exclusive shops (h&m and gap for example are not but there are also many "independant" fashion shops that aren't called Elouise and don't sell old lady clothes) There is also a large Sainsbury's (with a pay and display car park) and an Iceland on the High st so grocery shopping can be done with ease to (both being near to the carpark for dropping off heavy bags).
It is great, if you've just heaved yourself up a hill in Bournemouth or are fed up of being manhandled up and down steps in Dorchester then Poole is definately worth a visit.
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