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Ramp Buyer's Guide

Size guide - choosing the right ramp for you

A ramp can make it much easier to get around in a wheelchair or scooter, and they can be used in a variety of public and private circumstances, and for many different purposes. It is vital that you choose the right mobility solution for your needs. This guide will explain what is required when buying a permanent or temporary disabled access ramp.

If you are looking to purchase this piece of equipment, there are number of factors to consider.

Temporary Ramps

The key thing to ensure when buying a temporary ramp is that it provides you with the appropriate gradient for your needs. Another thing to remember when thinking about buying a ramp that can be moved is whether someone is available to offer assistance, if and when required.

Gradient - Those choosing a temporary ramp have a lot more flexibility regarding the gradient level. For assisted access, we would suggest a minimum gradient of 1:6, but if you have the budget and space available to store and maneuver a longer ramp, then this could be increased to 1:8.

Size - Assisted Access

To calculate the length of a temporary ramp with assisted access, take the height or combined height of steps (in inches) and divide by two.

For example, three steps of four inches:

12 ÷ 2 = 6ft ramp

Size - Unassisted Access

For unassisted access, we would normally suggest a gradient of 1:8 to 1:12, dependant on the physical abilities of the wheelchair user.

To calculate the length of a ramp, based on 1:8 gradient, take height or combined height of steps in inches and divide by 1.5.

For example, three steps of four inches:

12 ÷ 1.5 = 8ft ramp


Factors to consider with the style of the temporary ramp, includes:

  • Non-slip surface
  • Folding capabilities
  • Lightweight material 

Permanent Ramps

A fixed ramp for use in a building other than dwellings must comply with Part M of the Building Regulations.

GradientIt’s a legal requirement to have a permanent ramp that meets the ideal gradient suggested in the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) of between 1:12 and 1:20. However, there are many situations where ‘ideal’ is neither possible or required.

The gradient depends on the size of the ramp, for one that is longer than 5m with a maximum flight of 10m, a 1:20 gradient is suitable; 1:15 if the ramp is longer 2m; and 1:12 if it’s shorter than 2m.

If your premises doesn’t allow for or need a ramp at the DDA suggested gradient, get in touch with Bentley Fielden today on 0800 612 1140 to discuss your needs.

SizePermanent ramps must meet the following size requirements:

  • Minimum width of 1.5m
  • Landings of 1.5m wide at every 10m
  • Stand up safety edges that are 100mm high

StyleFor a permanent ramp, the surface must be non-slip to adhere to regulations and have continuous handrails on the open sides of the ramp if it exceeds 2m in length.

Also, it must have landings at the head and foot of the ramp that are at least 1.2m long and clear of any door swings and other obstructions.

If you have any questions about the requirements of a wheelchair ramp, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team at Bentley Fielden by calling 0800 612 1140.

Disclaimer: The information and advice given on this website is to the best of our knowledge, and Bentley Fielden accepts no responsibility if acted upon. We advise you contact your architect, building control, planning department, highways department and local fire authority if in any doubt. Please note that this explanation is provided as a guideline – if you need further information, we would recommend reading Part M of the Building Regulation in more detail.