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Announced by Portsmouth City Council, a new free app called Route4U has been launched, enabling Portsmouth residents with mobility needs to plan their travel routes with ease.

Providing greater travel flexibility, Route4U is a handy pavement navigation app and information system which allows wheelchair users to identify safer and more accessible routes across the city. The developers of the app worked closely with Portsmouth City Council to map out the city’s pathways.

Users can easily plan their journey using a route map and navigation system. The app also indicates pavement obstacles, surface quality, kerb heights, widths, inclines, and travel distances.

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It provides route planning and turn-by-turn navigation for wheelchair users, and can be customised to each person’s own abilities.

Pam Turton, Assistant Director of Transport at Portsmouth City Council, said: “I’m delighted that we can support people with reduced mobility by introducing Route4U to the city. This new technology will have many benefits for people who visit, work and live here. The app is aimed to give people more confidence to undertake journeys by providing detailed information about the environments that they will encounter.”

“I hope that this free app will give people the confidence to travel more independently and enjoy saving money by being less reliant on their cars for short distances.”

Volunteers, including members of Portsmouth Disability Forum, have been travelling the city to inform the developers about pavement conditions and potential obstacles.

In addition, obstacles can be reported via the app, which includes a helpful auto-survey function.

Sharon Smithson, Chairperson of Portsmouth Disability Forum, commented: “I’m extremely excited about the launch of the new Route4U app. As a wheelchair user, I and other forum members have experienced frustrating barriers, particularly with pavement obstacles and widths. Backtracking and finding alternative routes can take double the time of a normal journey.

“The app should establish a positive way for individuals with disabilities to travel around more accessibly, making the whole journey a better experience.”

The system can also help the council’s transport planners to better design, maintain and improve pavement accessibility.

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