Accessibility Guide to Reading Fringe Festival Locations

Revised 20 June 2018

Museum of Rural English Life (MERL)

  • The Museum is fully wheelchair-accessible with:
    • a step-free entrance with automatic door
    • lifts to all floors
  • Two bays reserved for disabled parking in front of the Museum and three available on Acacias Road
  • There is a wheelchair (adult) available for free loan for visitors
  • Portable seating for use in the galleries
  • Two fully accessible toilets
  • Assistance dogs welcome

The White Building

  • Building is fully wheelchair accessible with:
    • Ramp to front entrance (due for completion 30th June)
    • Lifts to all floors
    • Secondary ramped access available behind building as secondary entrance/exit should front be blocked/unfinished
    • Automatic doors on entrance
    • Soft closing manual internal doors
  • Fully accessible toilets located on each floor (no radar key required)
  • Assistance dogs welcome
  • Fire alarms are visual as well as auditory
  • Speaking Lift (no braille however)

Reading Minster

  • Event area is fully wheelchair accessible with:
    • Step free entrance
    • Ground floor location
    • Doors left open
  • One accessible toilet requires a ramp placing (please see attendant of church on duty)
  • Assistance dogs welcome

Reading Concert Hall

  • Event area is fully wheelchair accessible with
    • Step free entrance with automatic doors (Town Hall entrance)
    • Lifts to all floors
    • Doors secured open for ease of access
  • Fully accessible toilets located on each floor (Radar key however will either be left unlocked or keys can be obtained from concert hall staff)
  • Assistance dogs welcome
  • Braille in lift
  • Banisters on staircases (More than arm span apart) (24 steps total)

The Three Guineas Cellar Bar

  • Not wheelchair accessible due to lack of lift
  • Disabled toilet located upstairs
  • One toilet is located downstairs
  • Banisters (more than arm span apart) (25 steps on staircase plus a few sets of two steps)
  • Entrance doors quite heavy
  • Assistance dogs welcome

Reading Station

  • Wheelchair accessible with:
    • Lifts to all floors
    • Step free entrance with automatic doors (Main entrance)
    • Ramps to other entrances
    • On site disabled parking in multi-story
  • One disabled toilet (radar key required)
  • Assistance dogs welcome
  • Staff assistance is available for those using trains if booked in advance
  • National Freephone Passenger Assist Number: 0800 022 3720

The Rising Sun Arts Centre

  • Wheelchair accessible – ground floor only (please check location before booking) with:
    • Accessible but tight entrance at rear of building through car park (a scooter has made it through but it’s a squeeze)
    • Slight bump on entrance at rear but no steps
    • Manual door but fairly light and able to be propped open
  • One accessible toilet located on ground floor
  • Access to other floors by steep stairs with banister
  • Assistance dogs welcome

Broad Street Mall

  • Wheelchair accessible with:
    • Step free access
    • Automatic doors
    • Lifts to all floors
    • Flat entrance to front of mall, fair incline if entering from the back of the building but still accessible
  • Accessible toilet located on the first floor. This is also a changing places bathroom. Toilets usually locked just before 6pm.
  • After 6pm the nearest accessible toilets are alongside the broad street mall at Smoke and Mirrors or Subways. Please ask politely before using.
  • Assistance dogs welcome

The Purple Turtle

  • Largely not wheelchair accessible with:
    • No lift to basement
    • Stairs down to garden area
    • Stairs down to basement
    • Stepless entrance to main bar
    • Space limited during busy times
  • No accessible toilets. All toilets located up or down stairs.
  • Assistance dogs welcome

The Riverside (Oracle)

  • Wheelchair accessible with
    • Ramps located either side of the river to access lower areas.
    • Area accessible through multiple routes (car park, mall, street) all with ramped access or flat
  • Mall side – ramp to lower area located opposite Franco Manco leading under the bridge. One shallow guttering dip across path.
  • Car park side – ramp to that sides lower area located behind Jamie’s Italian
  • Accessible toilets located on riverside floor past escalators (no radar key required).
  • Assistance dogs welcome

Oracle car park (Riverside)

  • Wheelchair accessible with:
    • Step free access to ground floor
    • Automatic doors or doors that prop open
    • Roomy lifts to all floor
    • Disabled bays located on floor 5 due to renovation as floor 1 and 2 are closed. This could change closer to the event.
  • No Disabled toilet (usually located near lift area (radar key required)) due to renovations.
  • Assistance dogs welcome
  • 24 hrs

Oracle car park (Holybrook)

  • Wheelchair accessible with:
    • Step free access
    • Automatic doors or doors that prop open
    • Roomy lifts to all floors
    • 30 Disabled bays located on floor 1
    • Please note that currently the life near the accessible bays is out of order meaning a steep slope to reach another however that may or may not be resolved by the event date. Please contact the Oracle if you have concerns about this.
  • Disabled toilets located near lift area (radar key required)
  • Assistance dogs welcome
  • Shop mobility is located near the disabled bays.

Reading Abbey Quarter

  • Wheelchair accessible with
    • Ground floor location
    • Entry through either either Forbury Gardens or Chestnut walk
  • Nearest accessible toilet located in Forbury Gardens
  • Assistance dogs welcome

South Street Arts Centre

  • Wheelchair accessible with
    • Manual front door however able to be left open
    • No step on door
    • Ramp to entrance
    • Access to main spaces such as theatre, studio and bar via floors that slope.
  • Accessible toilet located near bar (no radar key required)
  • Assistance dogs welcome

Whitley Wood Community Centre

  • Wheelchair accessible with:
    • Ground floor location
    • Doors can be secured open
    • Small incline to entrance but then flat even surface
    • Secondary access via ramp is possible around the side of the building if necessary
  • One accessible toilet (no radar key required)
  • Assistance dogs welcome

Reading Irish Centre

  • Wheelchair accessible with
    • Ramp to first floor entrance (where event is located)
    • No step on door
    • Doors able to be left open
  • One accessible toilet (no radar key required)
  • Assistance dogs welcome
  • Six steps to door with two rails (more than arm width apart)

Penta Hotel

  • Wheelchair accessible with:
    • Ground floor location
    • Disabled marked automatic door button on main entrance
    • Main entrance flat access to building (however it should be noted you may have to go across the pull in drive which does have speed bumps.)
    • Doors can be secured open
  • One accessible toilet (radar key required, can be gotten from desk)
  • Assistance dogs welcome

Other things to note:

  • Station hill has a ramp from the upper section (near town) to the lower section (where the cube will be located). This is a three part backwards and forwards ramp that has a reasonable incline and from personal experience gets quite slippery when wet. Please take extra care.
  • Changing places toilet located in Broad Street Mall (0900-1800) (changingplaces.uktoiletmap.org/toilet/view/74)
  • Wheelchair accessible statement refers to getting an average sized wheelchair into the location. I also believe average size scooters would have no difficulty, however if your wheelchair or scooter is very large please check with the venues as to how best to access them. Thank you.
  • Assistance dogs refers to registered and trained assistance dogs who are currently working. If the dog is in training please contact the venue about access.  
  • On Road blue badge parking has the problem that several sections such as Friar street, West street and King street are under time control. No entry 7am -11am and 4pm – 7pm. There is however parking on Blagrave Street , Greyfriars Rd and Oxford Rd (near Penta, access via Cheapside). Free blue badge parking is also available at Forbury gardens (there is an accessible cut through next to the court for access to King’s rd). All of these are time limited via usual blue badge rules.
  • Car park blue badge parking is mostly paid for unfortunately as they are located in multistories. There is free all day parking at the Cattle Market car park for four blue badge users however this is slightly further from the main town centre.

 

Prepared by Marie Rose for the Reading Fringe Festival.