A trial to make Altona and Williamstown beaches wheelchair accessible will be held over summer.

Rubber matting will be placed across the sand at Williamstown, and a beach wheelchair will be available for use at Altona. The trial responds to community calls for more accessible beaches.

In August, people raised the idea of rubber matting on the Facebook group, ‘Altona, I lived there …’, and on Hobsons Bay council’s web page.

Many supported the idea, saying rubber mats would also be good for people with prams or an unsteady gait.

Mayor Peter Hemphill said rubber matting would be trialled at Williamstown beach to make it easier for wheelchairs, strollers and walkers to manoeuvre.

“In Altona, we will be trialling a Sandcruiser beach wheelchair,” he said. “These two trials will allow many people with a disability to get onto the sand and close to the water for the first time in their lives.”

Altona and Williamstown life saving clubs are partners in the trial. The clubs say life saving is an inclusive Australian institution and making beaches accessible for all enforces that message.

The trial runs from December 5 to March 27 on weekends when the beach is patrolled.

Book the beach wheelchair on 99321109 or at weekends at Altona Lifesaving Club on 0425 727125.