Chelsea Flower Show 2019

The Chelsea Flower Show is the key event in the horticultural calendar and one of, if not, the most famous flower and garden show in the world. It attracts over 150,000 visitors  including members of the Royal Family as well as celebrities. This year the Duchess of Cambridge has designed a back-to-nature garden whilst the charity that the Duchess of Sussex supports, Camfed, won a gold medal. The Show takes places on the 11 acre land of the Chelsea Royal Hospital, on the Chelsea Embankment. In just 25 days the site transforms from lawn and gravel pathways to an amass of colour with gardens surrounding the main pavilion.

We were approached by representatives of the Greenfingers Charity and Kate Gould Gardens who were creating an accessible garden for the Chelsea Flower Show 2019. Greenfingers is a charity that creates outdoor spaces for a number of children hospices. Since their inception they've created 55 gardens across the country. Their gardens include space where children can play as well as sensory gardens where they can relax and have therapeutic rest. The Charity needed a garden that would be accessible and would include interactive features for children.

Location: London

Status: Complete

Year Completed: 2019

Access lift at The Greenfingers Charity Garden by Kate Gould
The Greenfingers Charity Garden designed by Kate Gould Gardens

Kate was tasked with designing and bringing the concept to life. Kate is a Chelsea gold medal-winning garden designer, however this was her first show garden on the main avenue. The garden would feature an accessible ramp to the lower floor with interactive items throughout the lower level. From the original concept Kate wanted an upper level where visitors could find a new perspective on the garden therefore she needed a way of visitors reaching the upper deck. The original concept of the garden included a water lift. A water lift uses a pump to transfer water into two weights which would then cause the lift to ascend. The concept behind a water lift is incredible however it brings its own unique set of challenges. These are whether it can meet modern health and safety regulation and whether it will stand up to the constant use that the Show demands. After several consultations between Kate Gould Gardens, Access Lifts and independent lift consultants the result was that it would be too challenging to include the water lift design in the garden.

The lift in the Greenfingers Charity Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show 2019
The first garden at RHS Chelsea to feature a disabled access lift

The Greenfingers Charity Garden would be the first garden in the Show's history to feature a lift. The lift is an open platform that travels 2.8 metres to the upper deck, enclosed by a fully glazed shaft. The lift didn't require a pit so there is a small ramp on the platform. At Kate's request the lift was sprayed Emerald Green (RAL 6001). When we first saw the lift after it had been sprayed we thought that it could be too much. However once installed the lift blended perfectly into the lush garden. The whole garden was completed within the 25 day limit. Once the Chelsea Flower Show 2019 officially opened, the garden (and lift) was in constant use. The Monday of the Show, reserved for the press and VIPs, saw many celebrities inspecting the garden and using the lift to get to the upper deck. Much of the BBC's coverage took place on the upper level of the garden due to its viewpoint over a large proportion of main avenue. On Tuesday Kate was awarded a silver-gilt medal for her effort. An incredible achievement for the first garden at RHS Chelsea with a lift.

The Greenfingers Charity Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show 2019

For more information about lifts like the one above call us on 0800 65 252 65 or email us

The Newt in Somerset

Hadspen House was built in the late 17th century and is situated in East Somerset. The Grade II* listed building has undergone many transformations in its time and now the main house as well as the surrounding outbuildings and lodges have been renovated into a luxury country hotel. The Newt in Somerset boasts 35 rooms from converted stable blocks to a loft in the main house. In addition to the rooms, there are a number of other attractions on the estate. The spa is located a short walk up the driveway from the main house. It features various treatment rooms, a pool and even a mud chamber. The restaurant, attached to the main house, features a complete sloped glass ceiling combining the original Georgian house with state of the art modern style. It serves food from their kitchen garden which you can see while enjoying breakfast, lunch or dinner. They even produce venison from the estate's deer park, making sure as much produce as possible is gathered from the local area. The estate also features 3000 strong apple tree orchards with its very own cider press where guests can see the whole process from pressing the apples to enjoying the cider. 

The client needed two lifts for The Newt in Somerset, the first a goods lift which would be used to ferry items from the kitchen on the ground floor up into the rest of the hotel as well as take deliveries. This one tonne goods lift was finished with brushed stainless steel walls and ceilings to match the kitchen surfaces. The second, an antique passenger lift that would provide access for guests across the 3 floors of the hotel. The client had a very specific vision having purchased the stripped down panelling of a 19th century mahogany lift from an antique shop. They wanted a lift that would be befitting of the hotel and vice versa. Our task was to use as much of the original materials as possible whilst adapting the panelling into a completely new lift layout. The antique panelling was then fitted onto a modern hydraulic lift. We even managed to keep the original operating instructions, original brass push buttons, original green leather seat and the 19th century brass R. Waygood & Co sign. 

Below are a number of photos of the antique passenger lift at The Newt in Somerset.

Location: Somerset

Status: Complete

Year Completed: 2019

To see projects similar to The Newt in Somerset as well as other projects in listed buildings click on the following links:

British Library | York Theatre Royal | Dancing Man Brewery | National Theatre | Meriden Hall | Sissinghurst Castle Garden | Hotel du Vin Poole

The driveway leading up to the main house at The Newt in Somerset
The main house at The Newt in Somerset
Interior of the antique lift in The Newt in Somerset
The antique passenger lift on the first floor of the The Newt in Somerset

For more information about lifts like the one above call us on 0800 65 252 65 or email us

R. Waygood & Co brass threshold plate
Mirrored light-box in the antique passenger lift
Instructions for operating the lift

Marine Platform Lift for Ribs

Making boats accessible has proven difficult in the past, in particular smaller and private vessels. The main challenges that these projects face are: 1. function 2. materials 3. aesthetics. Our marine platform lifts look to tackle these challenges and create products that stand up to the hostile marine environment and look great.

Nowadays most platform lifts work perfectly fine (on land) however couple that with the motion of the tide or swell and being fixed into a glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) boat hull they can quickly become ineffective. The greatest challenge that marine lifts face is seawater. If a product is not designed with this in mind corrosion and pitting corrosion can cause complete product failure. That's why every part and material we use is researched in order to see how it copes in a saltwater environment as well as how they interact with each other over time. All steelwork for our marine platform lifts is made out of 316L marine-grade stainless steel, this prevents rusting over time and allows our products to withstand the harsh saltwater environment. Depending on the likelihood of coming into contact with saltwater, the metalwork can undergo a range of metal treatments on top of being made out of marine-grade stainless steel. For example if a boat is a leisure cruiser on a freshwater body such as a lake then the likelihood of rusting is greatly reduced compared to a high speed rib that's going to be used at sea. For this particular project, the lift underwent a number of metal treatments due to the location of the lift at the front of the boat and the type of boat. The high speed nature of the rib would lead to more saltwater breaking over the hull and coming into contact with the lift. 

We tailor make all of our marine platform lifts to the client's specifications, this includes the look and finishes used on the lift. For ribs and speedboats original teak decking can be used so that the lift blends into the rest of the deck. A number of metal finishes are available for any exposed metalwork including mirrored finishes as seen on the detachable handrails for this project. We also use rubber and neoprene for safety edges and protective borders to prevent scratching of both the lift and boat.

This project was similar in design to our previous project for a speedboat (you can view that project by clicking here) however it posed a number of unique challenges. As the boat was a rib, any lift would have to be considerably lighter so not to weigh it down and affect overall performance. The position of the lift at the front of the boat could affect the drive of the boat, particularly at high speed and with very little room to work in the lift would have to be fixed to the GRP hull rather than structural steelwork. 

We also created a bespoke ramp that changes into steps when needed. This allows any wheelchair users as well as other guests to easily board and disembark the rib. Both parts, the marine platform lift and ramp were finished with teak (as seen in the video and photos below) to match the rest of the deck and create a beautifully finished product.

Location: Hampshire & Côte d'Azur

Status: Complete

Year Completed: 2018

Marine Platform Lift Extended
Marine Platform Lift in Decking
Marine Platform Lift for Ribs
Ramps to Steps Extended
Marine Platform Lift

For more information about lifts like the one above call us on 0800 65 252 65 or email us

Winter Weather & Accessibility

At the moment we're enjoying some unseasonable and fairly mild weather, particularly in the South West. I believe that it might be the calm before the storm and we could be in for a very harsh Winter. Mother Nature might try to redress the balance after such a sunshine-filled summer. We experienced one of the coldest Winters in recent years last year, with heavy snowfall even on the South Coast where we're based. As lovely as seeing towns and villages blanketed in snow can be, it can also cause great disruption and monumental accessibility problems.

Hot and cold, fire and ice, accessibility and Winter weather. All words that contradict each other. When snow gradually turns to ice, the risk of injury, particularly for those that are vulnerable in society, dramatically increases. Roads and pavements become icy and slippery, a simple 5 minute walk to the shops can become an hour's trek and falling over becomes more prevalent. Winter weather can be heavenly for some... but it can also be hellish for others.

Ice is the major problem we face, it can appear suddenly overnight covering whole areas. Ice can make it increasingly difficult for elderly and disabled people to get out of the house as garden pathways and driveways become slippery. 24.5% of people living in the South West are 65+ years old. In our local area of East Dorset the figure rises to 31%. The risk of injury is too great for some, with people opting to stay in their homes rather than venturing out. A few hours can turn into a few days and a few days can turn into a couple of weeks. The inaccessibility of a garden path can lead to days of isolation. Loneliness is a huge problem during the Winter months, particularly amongst the elderly and disabled people. The lack of large support networks can only compound the effect. If you're a relative, a friend or even a neighbour of an elderly or disabled person make sure to visit them this Winter. A few hours of your time can make someone's day or even their week. Small things such as helping with the shopping, clearing a driveway or de-icing a car windshield all make a huge difference. If this Winter is particularly harsh look out for those people who may need an extra helping hand.

Accessibility can be difficult with roads becoming blocked by snow and ice
Winter weather can lead to poor accessibility in some areas

To see the type of lifts we offer for home & garden click here

York Theatre Royal

We were approached by the architect, De Matos Ryan, who were designing the refurbishment of the Grade II listed York Theatre Royal. A grand building that is the centre of York's arts scene. The theatre is located in the centre of York in the shadow of the minster. The £6 million refurbishment included completely redesigning the social spaces outside of the main theatre buildings. Within these works, the client needed two lifts, a main lift to access the four floors of the building as well as a platform lift to link the main lobby area with the café. We worked with the principal contractor, William Birch & Sons, to deliver this project. We are currently working with William Birch & Sons to deliver 4 different lifts at Lincoln Cathedral whilst we have worked with De Matos Ryan at the British Library and in the refurbishment of private homes in some of London and the South East's premium locations. 

Due to the nature of the building there were certain limitations with regards to the design of the lift. There were a number of stone features that could not be touched or changed.  The redesign of the theatre meant that there were a number of balconies and mezzanine floors with 4 different floor levels across around 5 metres of travel. The lift itself has 3 different access points so that all of these mezzanine levels could be accessed. The lift was finished in glass and brushed stainless steel to add a modern contrast to the more traditional limestone features surrounding it. The prominence of glass on the lift allows light to flood down the shaft into what is a fairly dark area which has little natural light sources. All the doors of the lift were automatic two-panel glass doors with brushed stainless steel frames. This compliments the modern aesthetic of the lift and allows the easiest and quickest access for all users. The lift is compliant with Part M with a 1100mm wide x 1400mm deep cabin and a horizontal control panel making it easier to use for wheelchair users. 

The second lift is an open platform lift which links the main lobby area to the newly refurbished café adjacent to the main spiral staircase. The lift is finished with glass panels within a black steel frame, this gives a modern sleek appearance with simple constant pressure controls. 

Location: Yorkshire

Status: Complete

Year Completed: 2016

To see projects similar to the lifts at the York Theatre Royal clicking on the following links:

British Library | Meriden HallNational Army Museum | Venture House | Baltic Mill | The Swan at Streatley | Wagamama Wigmore Street

The entrance at York Theatre Royal
The main lift at York Theatre Royal
Outside façade of the York Theatre Royal
Main lift in the lobby at York Theatre Royal
Inner lobby area of the York Theatre Royal
Third floor of the main lift at York Theatre Royal
Internal cabin of the glass lift at York Theatre Royal
Glass and stainless steel lift in the York Theatre Royal
Upper landing of the platform lift at York Theatre Royal
Platform lift linking the lobby with the main cafe
Open platform lift providing access to the main cafe at York Theatre Royal

For more information about lifts like the ones above call us on 0800 65 252 65 or email us

Home Lift in External Glass Lift Shaft in Branksome Park

We were approached by a private client in the Branksome Park area of Poole who wanted to install a home lift with an external structure attached to the side of his house. The lift would help both him and his wife travelling floor to floor but would also future proof his home. He wanted a modern style to match the newly built house with glass being a prominent feature of his overall idea.

We measured and designed a lift and external structure that would be adjacent to the house with 3 points of entry all on the same side of the lift shaft. We fitted an EP Elfo with cabin dimensions of 1100mm x 830mm which travelled a distance of over 6 metres across 3 floors in its own lift shaft. The steel structure was painted dark grey and was then finished with smoked glass on the 3 external sides. The presence of a majority glass lift structure matched the modern aesthetics of the building and the addition of the smoked effect lends itself to privacy when using the lift. The lift was fitted with 3 triple glazed swing landing doors so that both the house and the lift shaft remained warm with no draughts or loss of heat. To ensure that the lift was warm and comfortable to use even in the winter months or at night we fitted a small heater so that the lift shaft would be a pleasant temperature.

Location: Dorset

Status: Complete

Year Completed: 2015

To see projects similar to this lift in Branksome Park click on the following links:

Bexhill-on-Sea | Mayfair | Highcliffe | Whitecliff | Westbourne | Weymouth | South Croydon | St John’s Wood | Bosham | Torquay

External Home Lift in Branksome Park
Home Lift with Frosted Glass Doors
External Glass Lift Shaft
Glass Home Lift in Poole - 1st Floor
Smoked Glass External Lift Structure

For more information about lifts like the one above call us on 0800 65 252 65 or email us

SwingOn by Access Lifts

We are proud to introduce a new exciting disabled access solution. SwingOn is a genuine alternative to conventional disability ramps, outside stairlifts and inclined platform lifts. It is an innovative design that allows easy disabled access up to a maximum height of 500mm. SwingOn has the advantage against conventional disability ramps and inclined platform lifts. This is because it takes up a fraction of the space of ramps and platform lifts. UK Building Regulations state a disability ramp has to have a maximum gradient of 1 in 12 for a total rise of 166mm rising to a maximum gradient of 1 in 20 for a total rise of 500mm. This means that for a 500mm rise from the pavement to the top of the steps you will have to build a ramp that is 10 metres long. This coupled with the ramp's 1.5 metres width means the total area is at least 15m2. This can be inviable and impractical therefore the best option is SwingOn.

SwingOn features a telescopic platform that can measure between 830mm - 1400mm in length and 700mm in width. This means it can accommodate a variety of  different wheelchairs and mobility scooters. Its safe working load is rated at 300kg which means it can lift even the heaviest of electric scooters.

SwingOn is easy to install, taking only 1-2 to fit, with a simple plug and play connector so it can be used straightaway. It is easy to use and even easier to pack away, the compact design allows for it to be stored against a wall neatly. It comes in a number of colours so it can seemingly blend into its surroundings. SwingOn is made to last! All components are tested to European Standards to resist both hot and cold temperatures as well as high humidity levels.

And the best thing about SwingOn? It's affordable!

To see some of our commercial projects click on the following links: Venture House, Telefonica Digital, Seven Dials, National Army Museum, Southwark Council and Chiswell Street

To see some of our residential projects click on the following links: Witchampton, Chichester, Bosham, Whitecliff, Mayfair and St John's Wood.

 

Lifts for Restaurants – Disabled Access Made Easy

Maximising Space

Restaurants along with hotels and shops can find it difficult to maximise space when it comes to disabled access. They sometimes see disabled access as something they have to have rather than maximising its potential and the potential of the restaurant. Disabled access for many restaurants takes the form of a ramp. A disability ramp can be a good idea and can be cost effective. However ramps take up potential cover space and when profits are so tight like they are in the restaurant industry then 3 or 4 tables can make all the difference. Alternatively a lift can answer the disabled access question and open up the space for potential covers. The word 'lift' usually brings to mind a large passenger lift that is in a stainless steel structure with automatic steel sliding doors. However a lift can be any platform that moves between two floor levels. Finding the right disabled access lift when every square foot is vital to boosting sales can be tricky - restaurant owners are looking for lifts that have as little impact as possible but provide the necessary disabled access so that their restaurant is open to all. We provide a wide range of step lifts that cover short rises. In addition we provide lifts for restaurants that have a second floor or mezzanine - this can open up previously inaccessible covers for wheelchair users and really boost a restaurant's profits.

Lift or Ramp

Are Lifts Affordable?

Most restaurant owners might initially be put off having a lift in their restaurant due to the cost compared with a conventional ramp. However disabled access lifts for restaurants are more affordable than you think. In comparison, for a restaurant with a floor level difference of 500mm from the street to the entrance a ramp's area will take up at least 165ft2. This space is wasted covers that have the potential to boost the restaurant's profits. We understand that for many owners and managers there is a tradeoff between the initial cost of installing a lift and the additional covers it opens up. That's why we see having a disabled access lift in a restaurant as an investment. It not only gives you back the space the ramp was taking up but for those restaurants that didn't previously have disabled access it opens up the restaurant to a large pool of new customers.

Lifts for Restaurants
Lifts in Restaurants Entrances
Lifts for Pubs

Functionality

Functionality is at the core of disabled access equipment whether it’s a lift, a hoist or even a ramp. We believe that any disabled access equipment has to follow 3 basic principles: firstly, it has to be easy to use, giving as much independence to the user as possible, secondly, it has to be relatively quick to use and most importantly it has to be completely safe. These 3 principles come together to form the functional aspect of any disabled access equipment. With advancements in technology the majority of disabled access lifts now meet these principles but sometimes they are not tested in situ regularly. For example there are some situations where a disabled access lift is only used a handful of times each year. However when looking for the right lift for a restaurant, you need a lift that can stand up to daily use. The best lifts for restaurants need to be robust against the knocks and bangs that are common in a bustling restaurant or bar. We know that even with the most careful use, lifts can be knocked by staff and customers alike. That's why we look for and supply the best lifts on the market so that they're always up to the challenge and therefore last. 

Style

In the past disabled access only used to be functional. Now creating a lift that matches the restaurant’s style and interior can be just as important as its functionality and sometimes it can become the priority. Major restaurant chains can undergo refits every 5 to 10 years therefore finding a lift that matches their new style is important. We've seen with some of our projects a shift towards industrial looking restaurants, with untreated metal becoming a more common style as well as bold vivd colours. With this in mind, suppliers and manufacturers are now providing more and more choice with finishes and optional extras. We understand that each project is unique in terms of appearance and all of our products are made to order to bring the client's vision to life. We also love adding intricate details such as mesh panels to our products to make sure they seamlessly blend into the surrounding aesthetics. We're seeing that fashion and style are having a greater effect on the world more today than ever before and even the lift industry is subject to it.

Lifts for Hotels
Lifts for Bars
Enclosed Platform Lift for Restaurant

Options

We provide a variety of lifts for restaurants and build the lift around your vision creating a truly unique product. Our lifts vary from outdoor step lifts at a restaurant's entrance to hidden step lifts for an indoor set of stairs to a more traditional enclosed platform lifts to reach a second floor or mezzanine. Finding the right lift for your restaurant can be tricky and that’s why we’re here to help. For advice on your latest project or to get a quotation give us a call on 0800 65 252 65 or email us by clicking here.

To see more of our work within hotels, restaurants and retail click here.

To see more of our work in the hospitality sector click here.

Platform Lifts at the National Army Museum

We were approached by BDP, the architecture firm responsible for the £23.75 million redevelopment of the National Army Museum in London. They were looking to fit platform lifts within the museum so visitors would be able to access every part of the museum and make full use of the new services. The refurbishment completely modernised the museum and they wanted  a trio of platform lifts that would match the new look of the museum. The locations that they needed to fit platform lifts were from the main reception to the education centre, to the Discover More gallery and for staff from outside the building to access the lower basement entrance.  

We designed and installed a platform lift between the main reception and education centre. This lift is mainly used for groups and school pupils who visit the museum and use the education centre. The education centre is a great tool where large groups can learn about British history from the Civil War up to the present day conflicts. The lift was finished in stainless steel with glass panels to match the newly refurbished modern look of the building and the travel distance was 1.8 metres.

We fitted and installed a platform lift for access to the Discover More gallery, it was also finished in stainless steel and glass to suit the new aesthetics of the building. The cabin length of 1650mm allows both a large wheelchair or mobility scoot and carer to easily and safely use the lift. The platform lift travels just 980mm but can hold a load of up to 300kg.

The third lift we designed and installed was for staff access from outside the building to the lower basement floor. The outdoor platform lift was finished in RAL 7016 painted steel with a travel distance of 1180mm. The platform lift that the client wanted was a cost effective product that would withstand any adverse weather conditions that could be thrown at it. The lift would provide disabled access for staff and workers at the National Army Museum.

All three lifts were fitted within 2 weeks and were ready for the National Army Museum's Grand Opening in March 2017.

Location: London

Status: Complete

Year Completed: 2017

To see projects similar to the National Army Museum click on the following links:

200 Gray's Inn Road | Brunel House | Seven Dials Warehouse | Venture House | Southwark Council | 24 Chiswell Street | Elm Yard

Disabled Wheelchair Lift in the National Army Museum
Disabled Access Lift in the National Army Museum
Outside Disabled Access Lift for Museum
Outdoor Wheelchair Lift at the National Army Museum
External Platform Lift for Museums
Wheelchair Platform Lift in the National Army Museum
Disabled Platform Lift in Museums

For more information about lifts like the ones above call us on 0800 65 252 65 or email us

Disabled Access on Trains – Challenges & Solutions

We know it can be difficult getting around the country via trains regardless of having a disability. Every week there seems to be more cancellations and delays than the week before and we constantly hear about the ongoing disputes between the companies and workers' unions. The continuous strikes mean that we, the public, are left with a very fractured service and we can't get anywhere fast. It recently took me over 3 hours to travel to London, a journey that used to take under 2 hours. To think these journeys are extremely stressful is an understatement. Having a disability can compound this further, it should be easy for a wheelchair user to use every type of public transport but it seems it is becoming more difficult on trains in recent years. There is hope on the horizon with a £250m investment to Midland Metro being announced by Theresa May this morning but then that targets only a small area of the country. The long term project of High Speed 2 is, from the outside, promising but then it'll not start services for over 9 years if it's on time. It is also poses the questions will the brand new trains be compatible with the current stations along those lines. 

Expensive Fares

This is not predominantly a factor affecting disabled people however I thought I would mention it as it is an issue that affects everyone. Train fares have risen in recent times to extortionate levels and I've experienced a poorer service as time has gone on. Every week there seems to be a delay or cancellation for some reason or another and it can become very frustrating. If train operators are going to rise ticket prices then I expect an increase in the standard of service however that's not what I've seen, with people getting lower value for money. Disabled people can find it difficult using trains at the best of times but having to use a dodgy ramp to embark and disembark the train makes the experience worse. You'd have thought that with an increase in fares the train operators would invest more in disabled access but it doesn't seem apparent. Across Europe the large French and German operators have invested heavily into disabled access supplying lifts from the train to the platform. Compared with the UK, they've made it far easier for disabled people to use the train network and therefore get around the country. It doesn't seem like there is going to be a massive reduction in fares in the near future so it would be great to see our money being invested more wisely into integral services such as disabled access. 

Mind the Gap

A common sight on British railways

Old Trains

An issue that affects everyone and not just those with a disability is that trains from the 1980s still exist in certain parts of the country. Are these trains that are nearly 40 years old fit for service for the general public let alone wheelchair users? Simple answer - no they're not. The average age of a train on Britain's railways is over 20 years old and with an ever ageing and growing population, can these trains handle the demand? These older trains can be up to half a metre higher than the platform level and so makes disabled access a nightmare. A standard disability ramp in the UK has to have a gradient of between 1:12 to 1:20 - that would mean a 50cm height difference would have to have a 6 metre long ramp. Conventional disabled access ramps like these are cumbersome and difficult to manoeuvre in the short space of time a train stops at a station, in addition many platforms do not have 6 metres of space to work with.

Differing Heights and Trains

It seems strange that trains and platforms would vary in height so much, the apparent reason is due to constant network development with several stations being built over the decades since the Victorian Era. However you'd expect that there would be a standard height of platform or train floor but that doesn't seem to be the case. This is compounded by different train operators having slightly different designs and different types of trains having completely different operating heights. For example in the UK the "standard height" of a platform is 915mm but this can still vary, the Heathrow Express has platforms that measure 1100mm high. High Speed 1 connecting London to the Channel Tunnel has platforms measuring 760mm high and High Speed 2 will either have 550mm or 760mm platforms. These discrepancies are illogical but they exist and so we need to find a way to bridge these gaps. Sometimes these gaps between the train floor height and the platform are not manageable for able bodied people let alone wheelchair users.

This can be a difficult problem to solve for a station manager especially if he has more than one type of train going through his station. He could have different lengths of ramp depending on the train floor height but then he would have to have several different ramps and places to store them as well as the additional cost. Ease of use of should be at the forefront of everyone's minds, how can we make these services better for the customers. A simple but effective method to get around varying train heights is to have a portable train lift, easy to use and can rise up to a 1 metre to meet the train's floor level. Portable disabled access lifts are affordable and can be easily moved into position something station managers can find difficult with cumbersome ramps. 

Old Southern Rail Train

Old Southern Rail Train

Some London Underground platforms are inaccessible to wheelchair users

Time

Trains are a time critical service, a small amount of time lost at one station can impact the onward journey and make a train late at it's terminal stop. It seems like we're stuck in the dark ages when it comes to disabled access for trains, several years behind Europe. With great variation within the distance between the train and the platform, getting the right ramp can be an arduous process and can be very time consuming. It can require 2 or more staff to manoeuvre into position then help the disabled passenger disembark the train. This can take a relatively long period of time and depending on the height of the train, the station manager might have to use different ramps. A simple solution to these problems is the portable disabled access train lift. It can be stored on the platform and then easily wheeled out when needed. As it is an adjustable platform lift it could operate at any height up to 1 metre and only needs one person to wheel it out and use it rather than 2 or more that can be used when positioning a ramp. 

The Solution

Disabled access is pretty lacklustre across Britain with ramps the predominantly used solution. However with varying platform sizes across the country and train operators using different carriage designs you would need more than one ramp. Ramps can also be cumbersome and take more than one person to simply position it in place ready for a disabled passenger. A portable train lift can be kept on the platform and simply wheeled out when needed. The lift can cover heights of up to 1 metre above the platform level and can be easily driven up and down to meet the train's floor level. In addition it only takes one person to move it into position then operate it. This frees up time for the other station staff to carry out other tasks therefore makes the station more efficient. 

Portable Train Life

Portable Train Lift

Disabled Access for Trains

Disabled Access for Trains

Platform Lift for Trains

Platform Lift for Trains

For more information about our disabled access solutions for the transport sector click here 

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