The Equality Act of Ist October 2010 replaced the Disability Discrimination Act of 1995 and requires service providers to make changes, where needed to improve service for disabled customers or potential customers. Within the vertical transportation industry this often means making changes to existing buildings to enable better access and considering access requirements during the planning stages of a project. Almost 10 million people in the UK are identified as having a disability and are protected from direct discrimination and harassment. Also protected are those who are mistakenly thought to be disabled and those who experience discrimination because of their association with a disabled person. Dunbar and Boardman have worked on another number of projects where the brief was to facilitate improved access for disabled customers. The Millennium Bridge Inclined Lift also known as the Millennium Inclinator is a good example of this type of project.
What was the project challenge?
There was already a lift on site – one that was frequently out of service due to electro-mechanical breakdowns. The doors were a particular concern as the lift arrangement has entrances on opposing sides of the car, which means coupling the doors conventionally is complex and was a major contribution to unreliability on the original lift.
What was the solution?
Due to the planning restriction the doors had to be glazed and the operator mounted on the underside of the car. The solution involved the first time the application of this type of Wireless Sematic door system being installed in this configuration. Due to space restrictions the lift was delivered in three stages from Germany then stored locally before being brought to site as needed, due to the limited space available. The lift was completed before the Golden Jubilee River Festival weekend.
What were the results?
In March 2014 an in-house report commissioned by the City of London the Millennium Inclinator was reviewed and it confirmed that there had been a general improvement of ‘in service’ time in the period up until January 2014. The report also set out plans for future improvements and detailed processes for ordering spare parts.
Are you currently considering equality access for a project you are working on? We would be happy to discuss with you. Give us a call on T +44 (0)20 7739 5093 or send us an email via firstname.lastname@example.org to start the conversation. We look forward to hearing from you.