Department of Health

Standards and dimensions

  • People with mobility aids are likely to need a clear width of 1000 mm.
  • People who use wheelchairs, crutches or canes are likely to need a clear width of 1200 mm.
  • A width of 1800 mm is needed for two wheelchairs to pass comfortably.
  • Standards exist for gradients of ramps.
  • Clearance is needed for wheelchair access and use, including in seating areas, areas with tables and chairs, and at junctions along paths.


  • Use materials that are warm and domestic in colour and scale.
  • Use non-reflective paving materials.
  • Choose non-slip surfaces.
  • Make paths and paving uniform in colour and texture or provide safe transitions between different colours and textures.
  • Colour contrast paths with their immediate surrounds.
  • Clearly distinguish borders for increased visibility.
  • Ensure paths are level and hazard free.
  • Think about small unit blocks and pavers, which are appropriate for small gardens.
  • Note that small unit pavers are less likely to cause trips than slabs and are easier to lay in curved shapes.
  • Note that block pavers and paving slabs laid in a broken bond pattern, rather than a grid pattern, are less likely to cause trips, especially for people using walking frames.
  • Check manufacturer advice regarding laying and joining of paving material selected.Install handrails where appropriate.
  • Provide rest areas and seating next to paths.

Reviewed 19 February 2016


Was this page helpful?