How does Haarlem measure up in the wheelchair accessibility stakes?
The Netherlands prides itself on how it caters for wheelchair users. As I Amsterdam highlights, the national train network is built with accessibility in mind, and the urban space in Haarlem has been amended over years to meet the demands of people with mobility demands. Other measures, such as the decision to extend paid parking throughout the municipality, provide more room for people living with disability to enjoy their independence and everything the region has to offer. As it stands, Haarlem is a great option for wheelchair users – but more could be done in the future.
As with the rest of the Netherlands, Haarlem is subject to stringent measures that dictate how the city sets out its urban spaces with regard to wheelchair users, as Able Amsterdam notes. Measures include minimum spacing for wheelchair accessible paths, ramps included, which help to meet the fundamental requirements of wheelchair travel. Furthermore, experiences and transport within the city, such as canal cruises, are also wheelchair accessible, according to Disabled Access Holidays. In that, Haarlem does a lot to ensure that wheelchair users are catered for. Experiences further out of the city have also aimed to meet that demand.
Within Haarlem and just outside are a number of experiences that pull in tourists and expats every year. This includes the Circuit Zandvoort, a huge crowd pleaser as the host of the Netherlands Grand Prix. The standards that exist in Haarlem and elsewhere provide a foundation that means traveling to larger events in and around the Randstad is entirely safe and usually easy enough to organise.
While there is a clear foundation for the use of wheelchairs in Haarlem and beyond, it’s also important to plan ahead. Making proper plans and using services like ns.nl to properly plan out routes and potential hitches will ensure that the needs of the wheelchair user are met and independence guaranteed. This also provides the opportunity to report issues where they arise – the authorities will listen.
Haarlem is there to greet wheelchair users. The city is built in a way that’s proactive towards the needs of people with mobility issues, and the law is there to back up the needs of those people. No system is perfect, of course, and so it’s important to always take a precautionary check before traveling.
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