The Equality Act 2010

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sevenhills

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Hi all

Being an able bodied person myself, I was wondering what impact the The Equality Act 2010 has had on trains and railway stations.
I work with people that have special needs and although a relatively rare thing, it is now enshrined in law that buses and trains must be accessible. Are there many railway stations that do not comply with the law? What about the more remote stations?
 
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MidnightFlyer

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There's hundreds of stations that don't comply, though this is gradually being dwindled down through the Access for All scheme from the DfT. Some stations will never be fully accessible though, for variety of reasons.
 

DaveHarries

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It resulted, prior to Newport hosting the Ryder Cup, in the construction of a very ugly new footbridge at Newport (South Wales) railway station which looks hideous. Lifts up to the old footbridge would have looked much better.

Dave
 

sevenhills

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There's hundreds of stations that don't comply.
Close to where my sister lives, they closed a gated crossing and constructed a really large bridge over the line, it did seem like over kill.
If they can do it for crossings, then surely stations are more important?
 

tsr

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What about the more remote stations?
I think it is sometimes easier to adapt remote stations, since all they may need is a different platform edge, instead of expensive lifts, extra ramps, accessible toilets, etc. The works to adapt a platform edge would need to make sure that there isn't too much of a horizontal or vertical gap between the train and the platform edge. The precision involved is surprising to some. I'm afraid I haven't got the figures to hand.

When considering footbridges and other forms of pedestrian track crossings, some less-well-used stations may use road bridges or level crossings to carry pedestrian traffic. Often, these bridges and crossings will have dedicated footpaths that comply with the relevant highway regulations and signage. As such, they are possibly sufficient to also be used as compliant railway crossings without much modification. Your post above may refer to an instance where a "simple" foot crossing was not safe for the number of disabled users anticipated, and there are crossings which are inadequate.

More widely used stations may need extensive and disruptive works, which may not be easy or possible, as has been pointed out. This may be due to the fact that lift shafts would interfere with utilities which are impractical to move, perhaps, or, where they are known for their heritage features, some stations may not be allowed to feature full modifications.

Sometimes works to comply with disability access requirements have to wait until major refurbishment works, when disruption to pedestrian access is likely anyway. Often, this limits economic risks, which must be regulated.
 

MidnightFlyer

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It resulted, prior to Newport hosting the Ryder Cup, in the construction of a very ugly new footbridge at Newport (South Wales) railway station which looks hideous. Lifts up to the old footbridge would have looked much better.

Dave
They should have retained the old booking office too!
 

Clip

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There's hundreds of stations that don't comply, though this is gradually being dwindled down through the Access for All scheme from the DfT. Some stations will never be fully accessible though, for variety of reasons.
This.

If you look at the line from Liv St to Cheshunt/Enfield most if not all(havent done them all yet) are only accessable via stairs. thats nearly 20 stations them selves that will need lifts on such a short route. Thats an expensive business - especially when they will have to set them up to be able to be worked remotely via the control of a night time when the ones that have ticket offices close up for the night.

The costs themselves will mean that these dont get upgraded for a long time in my eyes.
 

sevenhills

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The costs themselves will mean that these dont get upgraded for a long time in my eyes.
I know that Guiseley station needs to be accessed from different streets in order to be accessable to those with disabilities, a quite busy station; Morley station is only accessable via the footbridge at one side.
With train use becoming more popular too, and with more laws coming into force in (2016?).
 

DownSouth

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Thats an expensive business - especially when they will have to set them up to be able to be worked remotely via the control of a night time when the ones that have ticket offices close up for the night.
What's so wrong about the simple and traditional button activation for lifts that would require remote operation equipment to be installed?

I suppose if buttons are no longer allowable or other means of activating them are required then pressure sensors could be installed underneath tactile floor sections in front of the doors or cheap motion sensors use for external lights on houses could be used.
 

Wolfie

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What's so wrong about the simple and traditional button activation for lifts that would require remote operation equipment to be installed?

I suppose if buttons are no longer allowable or other means of activating them are required then pressure sensors could be installed underneath tactile floor sections in front of the doors or cheap motion sensors use for external lights on houses could be used.
The shiny expensive new lifts on the London Overground are all button activated. I wonder if what is meant here is remote monitoring ie access to a control room if problems arise?
 

DownSouth

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The shiny expensive new lifts on the London Overground are all button activated. I wonder if what is meant here is remote monitoring ie access to a control room if problems arise?
Shouldn't the regular emergency phone inside the lifts be enough, along with the emergency phones and security cameras on the platforms?

Again, nothing that hasn't been around as standard equipment for years. Perhaps an extra camera could be added to the inside of each lift if it was really needed, but the only thing not standard about that would be the easy matter of arranging the camera's cables in the lift shaft.
 

Clip

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What's so wrong about the simple and traditional button activation for lifts that would require remote operation equipment to be installed?

I suppose if buttons are no longer allowable or other means of activating them are required then pressure sensors could be installed underneath tactile floor sections in front of the doors or cheap motion sensors use for external lights on houses could be used.
Nothing is wrong with push button lifts. Maybe I shouldve explained a little clearer.

Lifts at unstaffed stations that are left in use when no one is on the station are prone to vandalism and vagrants using them to sleep in and urinate in and all sorts.

Remote access to lifts would prevent this and the extra costs of taking the lifts out of service - so someone pushes the button it goes to control and they can see on the video feed that it is someone who needs it and then releases the lift.

Im not sure how it stands now but the down lift at Wembley stadium was out of action for over 2 years due to vandals and vagrants using it as a sleeping area and breaking it all the time. Mind you that was also done with remote access too so it doesnt always work. Though worth noting there were no problems with the lift on the up platform.


In the case of LO all their stations are staffed from when it opens to when it closes, easier to monitor and as we all know a presence helps to keep a station safe.
 

merlodlliw

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It is accepted by the Commission that some parts of the railway network or others can not be upgraded, but any new stations etc must comply.

Common sense must apply on both the owners & users, I note certain so called consultants have gone for overkill, to satisfy their charges.

I work in the Voluntary Sector and have questioned decisions, which in certain cases cost has outweighed what is reasonably practical and expected ,

I would advise anyone to read the Guidance notes, for both employer/trader & those effected.

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/equalities/equality-act/


Bob
 
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sevenhills

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It is accepted by the Commission that some parts of the railway network or others can not be upgraded, but any new stations etc must comply.

Common sense must apply on both the owners & users,

Bob
Yes indeed, common sense must prevail. I would think that the footbridge in Morley station, that is the only access to the other side, is over 50 years old.
So maybe not this year, but surely not another 50 years wait?
 

Eagle

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It is accepted by the Commission that some parts of the railway network or others can not be upgraded, but any new stations etc must comply.
This is part of the reason why Kenilworth is being held up. Despite the original footbridge remaining open and in place and to be incorporated into the station, a second lift-based bridge has to be added as well, which increases the cost of the station significantly, such that the council can't afford to fund it.
 

Squaddie

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This is part of the reason why Kenilworth is being held up. Despite the original footbridge remaining open and in place and to be incorporated into the station, a second lift-based bridge has to be added as well, which increases the cost of the station significantly, such that the council can't afford to fund it.
Are you suggesting that new stations should be built without facilities for disabled people in order to save money?
 

MidnightFlyer

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A thought that has crossed my mind in the past is that, if a disabled person wants to use an inaccessible station, wouldn't it be easier for the TOC to pay for a taxi from the next station back to the station in question rather than spend thousands of pounds on new ramped-bridges or lifts etc that aren't going to see that much use? Obviously this is just a thought and won't work in many cases, but still...
 

W-on-Sea

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The new bridges that were installed at several stations on the North Cotswolds line, in some cases in association with the doubling of parts of the line, last year, are clearly equalities legislation-compliant: they don't have lifts, and consequently have extraordinarily long ramps. If you can find photos of the current structures at Charlbury or (I think) Honeybourne stations, you'll see what I mean. Moreton-in-Marsh also has a new equalities legislation compliant bridge, but it's slightly more modest in scale, as I think that one does include lifts.
 

MidnightFlyer

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They are rather long; wouldnt this excessive length make it harder for those with disabilities? Or is it just how it looks?
I know someone who used the ramps at Livingston North on both platforms for a connection back the way he'd come. Here's one (150m) and the other (100m) - he only just made his 7 min connection IIRC!
 

142094

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A thought that has crossed my mind in the past is that, if a disabled person wants to use an inaccessible station, wouldn't it be easier for the TOC to pay for a taxi from the next station back to the station in question rather than spend thousands of pounds on new ramped-bridges or lifts etc that aren't going to see that much use? Obviously this is just a thought and won't work in many cases, but still...
Some TOCs will do this, especially when an accessible station becomes temporarily inaccessible (such as maintenance to a lift or building works shutting an entrance).

sevenhills said:
They are rather long; wouldnt this excessive length make it harder for those with disabilities? Or is it just how it looks?
There are a couple of considerations needed when building a ramp - if the gradient is too steep it becomes very hard for manual wheelchair users to ascend, and makes it dangerous to decend. So a longer ramp will generally mean a shallower gradient and easier to get up and down. However, this then poses the problem of having a ramp that is too long for those who are ambulatory but with difficulty - which is why ramps should also now have small resting areas which are flat.

There is an excellent document by the DfT and Transport Scotland called Accessible Train Station Design for Disabled People: A Code of Practicewhich shows all the features that a station really should have. However, I'd dread to think of the investment needed to retrofit all stations to make them comply with standards. Plus, what happens when the standards change?

Quick anecdote to finish - I was recently talking to someone who works on the highways section of a local authority about potholes and damaged pavements. He said in 99% of cases it was easier and cheaper to wait until someone had a trip/fall and pay out compensation rather than send out a team to fix the whole area and keep it properly maintained. So what Matt has said about TOCs providing alternative means of transport will probably be the same in 50 years time.
 

DownSouth

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There are a couple of considerations needed when building a ramp - if the gradient is too steep it becomes very hard for manual wheelchair users to ascend, and makes it dangerous to decend. So a longer ramp will generally mean a shallower gradient and easier to get up and down. However, this then poses the problem of having a ramp that is too long for those who are ambulatory but with difficulty - which is why ramps should also now have small resting areas which are flat.
The maximum gradient allowable on a new-build ramp longer than 1520mm in Australia is 7%, and a continuous inclined section of a ramp may be no longer than 9 metres between landings. A ramp may not be shallower than 5% as it is deemed necessary for people to have a reasonable expectation of a ramp's gradient without summoning an engineer or surveyor.

Those measurements are roughly 5 feet, 1 in 14, 10 yards and 1 in 20 respectively if you're still using Imperial units.
 

boing_uk

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Quick anecdote to finish - I was recently talking to someone who works on the highways section of a local authority about potholes and damaged pavements. He said in 99% of cases it was easier and cheaper to wait until someone had a trip/fall and pay out compensation rather than send out a team to fix the whole area and keep it properly maintained.
I can assure you that this is NOT the case. Not only does it divert funds from the revenue budget (which is where claims are paid from) but if there becomes a proven practice of this being the case, the courts will award larger compensation claims and there are also other legal mechanisms in place that would cost a local authority dearly not only in time, but bad publicity and also an investigation by the regulatory authorities.

Indeed, any person can apply to a magistrates court under Section 56 of The Highways Act if they feel that the highway authority is not maintaining the highway properly. The court can then order the authority to bring the road in to proper repair, or after a certain amount of time, order that the complainant can do it and recharge the highway authority.
 
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sevenhills

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It is accepted by the Commission that some parts of the railway network or others can not be upgraded, but any new stations etc must comply.
I emailed Network Rail about the general poor state of Morley Railway station, but they just passed the buck to Northern Rail, and the department of transport for the major works.
I would assume that the bridge over the line was put in place many years ago and might be due for an upgrade. Does anyone know how old the bridge will be?
I am trying to get my MP on the case, to at least get a visual display for the train times.
 

Skimble19

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Stations that ONLY have excessively long ramps must be a nightmare for regular users who could perfectly easily use stairs.. those in the picture above just make me wonder how much that cost and what the difference to installing and maintaining lifts would have been.
 

DownSouth

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I dont know anyone like that; 99.99% of people need more exercise.
If I'm in a hurry or carrying heavy luggage, the shortest and most practical route is far more important to me than the miniscule difference in energy spent ascending a ramp to the same height as a set of stairs.
 

BestWestern

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A thought that has crossed my mind in the past is that, if a disabled person wants to use an inaccessible station, wouldn't it be easier for the TOC to pay for a taxi from the next station back to the station in question rather than spend thousands of pounds on new ramped-bridges or lifts etc that aren't going to see that much use? Obviously this is just a thought and won't work in many cases, but still...
I have to say that I fully agree with idea that providing a taxi where needed would be a far more sensible solution for many non-major stations on our network, at least allowing improvement work to be carried out as and when it is needed rather than pushing it through at extraordinary cost. Whilst it is only right that there should be consideration to those who are disabled in all aspects of life, I can't help feeling that the extraordinary amount being spent on mass station engineering projects will never be fully justified in some cases.

As for those areas where there is unlikely to ever be full compliance, I would think the London Underground is probably the best example.
 
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