Ramping up the access for disabled: why the travel and hospitality industry needs to do more

LONDON, 2021-Sep-03 — /Travel PR News/ — Over 20% of the UK’s 50 most popular attractions provide only partial access to disabled people, reveals a survey conducted by Sheridan Lifts, an independent family-owned lifts company in the UK. These less disability-friendly destinations can be found including in popular cities such as London, Bath, York and Manchester. This, in conjunction with findings from online training company AccessChamp, which shows that only one in ten hotel rooms currently meets special needs, highlight that more has to be done to assist those with restricted mobility.

Tony Sheridan, managing director at Sheridan Lifts, says, “The UK’s travel and hospitality industry needs to cater for better accessibility for people with disabilities, who are currently being excluded from various tourist attractions in our hotspots. They’re left with less choice and control over how they can spend their time off and access recreational activities, and the sector is missing out as a consequence. The value of the ‘purple pound’, as reported by VisitEngland, is over £2 billion each year in England, based on the spend of tourists who have a health condition or impairment, and their travelling companions.”

Sheridan Lifts advises that In terms of improving accessibility, access lifts within this industry are one of the first requirements. These cover a host of lift types designed to cater for those with restricted mobility, including platform lifts, through floor lifts, hoists, stairlifts and step lifts. Such features can significantly impact visitors’ experience and satisfaction and a place’s reputation. Monitoring how well they are performing, where they’re situated and what capacity they have is also important.

Performance can be easily determined by ensuring regular maintenance visits and adhering to strict health and safety regulations. Failing to comply can at best attract a hefty fine and at worst, a major accident that could cause serious harm to people.

The Equality Act 2010, which replaced the former Disability Discrimination Act and exists broadly to provide guidance on inequality across different areas of society, states that undertaking a lift refurbishment or performing lift upgrades might be required to comply with current legislation.

Ensuring that lifts are accessible to all is a must for those offering services to the public and this often means making tweaks to the existing lifts, conducting physical adjustments throughout the venue. This way, those with visual or hearing impairments, neurodiverse conditions or restricted mobility can be provided with a seamless experience.

Some of the lift features that are added during lift upgrades might include floor announcements, tactile and audible push buttons and signals, lift car handrails and accessible intercoms. Braille signs, soundproof walls and sensory lighting are also appreciated.

Further key resources which can be consulted on this topic include:

Note to Editors

Sheridan Lifts is an independent, family-owned, UK lifts and lifts maintenance company that prides itself in the breadth of experience and quality of customer care it offers. It supplies, installs, maintains and repairs all types of lifts, including a range of disabled access lifts, for homes and businesses throughout the UK.  Supported by the skill of engineers and technicians, as well as managers, surveyors and installers, any lift installation or maintenance overdue or put on hold can be easily carried out in a friendly and professional one stop shop.

The company’s experience goes beyond traditional people freight systems, as the competence extends to platform lifts and dumbwaiters (service lifts), which are popular in the service industry. The sister company, Sheridan Doors, can also offer roller shutters for additional security.

For more details, please visit: www.sheridanlifts.com/