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Portable wheelchair ramps on London Underground may only be temporary
The one thing that really annoys be about disabled access ramps is the regulations people hide behind so as not to provide them.
OK in an ideal world all ramps would comply to Part M of building regs or follow the guidelines as provided by the CAE.
But when these guidelines say ramps have to be a 1:15 gradient, have double handrails all round and be 1.5m wide is it any wonder the pen pushers say it is impossible to fit ramps and nothing gets done?
In 12 years of supplying wheelchair ramps I can honestly say I am yet to see one that complies to the building regulations or guidelines but if supplying to sensible people it’s not that big a problem as they understand that a 900mm ramp with a 1:12 gradient is perfectly acceptable, practical and better than nothing if a 1.5m wide at a 1:15 gradient is not practical.
The big problem is, especially when dealing with councils and the like is they get out the guidelines, see that they can’t be fully complied to and say nothing can be done.
Will the same thing happen on The London Underground, will someone come along and say because they want ramps to remain permanent rather be temporary that they don’t comply fully to guidelines regarding permanent ramps and use that as a reason to take them all up again?
It’s even the same for little high street shops, we supply a range of portable wheelchair ramps that are ideal as a temporary measure for steps up to 40cm high, these ramps are lightweight and easy for shopkeepers to set up as and when needed – the perfect solution you would think and people with a bit of common sense tend to agree.
Every now and then we get the shopkeeper who has been told he has to provide a ramp and is told what it has to be by some pen pusher following the guidelines.
All of a sudden that perfectly adequate 760mm wide, 1.8m long ramp that can be quickly set up to help wheelchair users is no longer adequate and a ramp 4m ramp long, 1.5m wide with 1.2m landing platform at top and double handrails all round is required.
Off course this is impossible as it blocks the highway so the wheelchair user loses out as no ramp is provided.
It really is that crazy.
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