Improving Railway Access

According to the ONS Opinions Survey 2011, around a fifth of disabled people report to having difficulties related to their impairment or disability when accessing transport, but this need not be the case. Christian King, General Manager at Kee Systems, looks at how to improve disabled access at train stations.

The Equality Act

Ensuring safety for all passengers at train stations is essential, particularly with when you consider there are over 11 million people classed as disabled in Great Britain.  The Equality Act 2010 states that measures must be in place to not discriminate against disabled people.

Government initiatives to improve access at railway stations

Access to train stations can be limited, particularly when suitable handrails, ramps and lifts are not provided.  In order to address this and improve access for the disabled, we have seen the launch of several initiatives over the years such as the Railways for All strategy in 2006 and the ‘Access For All’ funding which is being used at 150 previously stations. £35m of government funding has also been allocated each year until 2015 to improve access at main line stations with a further £100 million added to the budget to allow the programme to extend to 2019 so that work be carried out on even stations than originally planned.

Equality Act compliant handrails

Safety must always be paramount and correctly installed handrail can provide an effective solution. There are a number of options on the market which satisfy the requirements outlined in the Equality Act 2010 but tube and fittings offer a simple and cost effective solution.  Fittings such as the Kee Access range provide versatility, ease and speed of installation which are real advantages for the installer.

This is ideal as a retrofit solution, as the range includes an ‘Add-on’ offset fitting to allow a new handrail to be added onto an existing structure of appropriate size.

Kee Access® – proven handrail solutions for train stations

KEE ACCESS handrails have been installed in various locations throughout the UK, including London Bridge, Keighley in Yorkshire and Hayle station in Cornwall, to provide access to either the station entrance or the platforms.

Staines Railway Station in Middlesex also benefitted from the KEE ACCESS range during installation of a new guardrailing system. Working together with railway engineering contractor GRAMM Interlink Rail, project architects BPR and Southwest Trains, over 100m of safety handrail have been fitted alongside the newly installed ramp to ensure improved station access for travellers of all ages. A Senior Construction Manager at GRAMM Interlink Rail commented: “The Kee Access® range meets the specification provided by the DDA. It’s also a solution that’s quick and easy to put together, making it a very cost-effective approach”

In conclusion

Safety is essential when specifying handrailing and guardrailing. Given the requirements of The Equality Act, all railway stations should aim to have a handrail system installed from which children, the elderly, the disabled and even able-bodied adults can benefit.  Thanks to innovative products such as   KEE ACCESS, safety can be ensured easily and in a very cost-effective way.

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Tue, 11/25/2014 – 18:03

Tube and fittings offer a simple and cost effective solution for handrails at train stations.

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