Wheelchair Ramps Guidelines and Best Practice

Portable Wheelchair Ramp Selector

Portable Wheelchair Ramps Information
1:12 is the recommended maximum gradient for portable wheelchair ramps but some portable ramps may also be used as an auxiliary aid at a gradient of 1:10 over shorter distances where assistance is provided and if an adequate risk assessment is carried out first to confirm this.
Important Notice:
The 2015 edition of Approved Document M came in legislation on October 2015

There are now two volumes of Approved Document M;

1. Approved Document M: access to and use of buildings, Volume 1: dwellings

2. Approved Document M: access to and use of buildings, volume 2: buildings other than dwellings

Wheelchair Ramps Regulations - UK Building regulations regarding ramps

Note: Access to and use of buildings: Approved Document M were updated in October 2015 and now consist of 2 volumes of the Approved Documents, a 2013 amendments to Approved Documents and Pre October 2015 edition, Approved Document M: access to and use of buildings.

All 4 documents are available for free download on the gov.uk website here - Access to and use of buildings: Approved Document M

The 2004 edition (incorporating the of 2010 and 2013 amendments) of Approved Document M*, as amended, will continue to apply to building work started before 1 October 2015 or work subject to a building notice, full plans application or initial notice submitted before that date.

Wheelchair Ramp Calculator for a 1:12 Gradient Slope

To find out the length of ramp required to create a 1:12 gradient please enter height of step below.

Select height of step:  

Wheelchair Ramp Gradient Calculator provided by Access Appraisals Ltd.

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Archived Wheelchair Ramps Regulations - UK Building regulations regarding ramps

Information on disabled wheelchair access ramps provided Part M of UK building regulations

Disclaimer: The information and advice given on this website is to the best of our knowledge, but we accept no responsibility if acted upon, and advise you contact your architect, building control, planning department, highways department and local fire authority if in any doubt.

Although not always necessarily so with existing premises, it is advised that you try to adhere to these recommendations whenever possible.

Building Regulations Part M: Access and facilities for disabled people (archived)

Note: UK Building regulations are slightly different with regard Dwellings and other building, these recommendations are for "Buildings Other Than Dwellings".

A wheelchair ramp will comply with Part M of Building Regulations if it;

  • Has a non-slip surface.
  • Is 1.5m wide with a minimum unobstructed width of 1.5m.
  • Has a maximum individual flight of 10m
  • Has a maximun gradient of 1:20 at 10m (500mm high)
  • Has a maximun gradient of 1:15 at 5m (333mm high)
  • Has a maximun gradient of 1:12 at 2m (166mm high)
  • For goings between 2m and 10m it is acceptable to use a sliding scale
    i.e. 1:13 for 3m, 1:14 for 4m, 1:16 for 6m, etc.
  • Wheelchair Ramps Gradient
  • Has top and bottom landings no less than 1.2m and intermediate
  • Landings of 1.8m every 10m.
  • Has 100mm high raised kerbs to any open side of ramp or landings
  • Has a continuous suitable handrail on each side.
  • Has a maximum cross fall of 1:40
  • Has a maximum slope on landings of 1:60
  • Has a contrasting, landings, upstands and handrails to ramp surface.

2015 Part M: access and facilities for disabled people is now available from .gov.uk website here

  • Aerolight Classic - Non folding portable wheelchair ramp.
  • Aerolight Broadfold - Single fold portable wheelchair ramp.
  • Aerolight Extra - Single fold portable wheelchair ramp.
  • Aerolight Lifestyle - Two fold portable wheelchair ramp.

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Call: 01608 663759 for free friendly advice on wheelchair ramps.

Portable Wheelchair Ramps

There are recommendations concerning portable ramps in BS8300:2001, but in a number of circumstances, primarily with existing premises they can be difficult to adhere to.
A key point to bear in mind is the DDA's phrase:

"Where a physical feature (for example, one arising from the design or construction of a building or the approach or access to premises) makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult for disabled persons to make use of such a service, it is the duty of the provider of that service to take such steps as it is reasonable"

"Reasonable adjustments" is a phrase that if you have not heard yet, you more than likely will do other the coming months. It is the so called "grey area" of the Act which will surely be a key point for the courts to decide.
What constitutes a "reasonable adjustment"? - Their is no easy answer, but in my personal oppinion all cases will be dealt with individually.
For instance
A new, or an existing high value property would reasonably be expected to comply with all recommendations under BS8300 and Part M.
Where as, a small local village shop, salon etc. would reasonably be expected to make minor alterations and provide auxiliary aids, such as clipboards, audio aids, trained assistance, portable wheelchair access ramps etc.

If you would like to make any comments on the information displayed on, or this website in general I would be most grateful to receive them.
Please email any comments to,
Mr.Terry Simmonds
Access Appraisals Ltd

Please contact us on 01608 663759 for further information on portable ramps.

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