Appreciative for passenger lifts
Architects have been mostly appreciative for passenger lifts because it has meant they have been able to build upwards. It is only since the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) was passed, making sure public buildings have Passenger Lifts access for all, that lifts are also used for the disability impaired. As many of the older and smaller public buildings don’t have passenger lifts in them, it means they have to be introduced, causing architectural, logistic and financial headaches by modifying existing access arrangements.
The other issue that hampers progress is that disability access products are seen as unsightly and not stylish in their appearance. The title of ‘platform lift’ has connotations attached to it too, as they are often thought of as aesthetically displeasing or having a functionally similar to those lifting goods.
Public buildings certainly have been reluctant to facilitate the introduction of platform lifts, partly due the aesthetic side of things and due to the logistics of whether the building is suitable for the modifications needed. The DDA was put into action in 2004, and only 15 per cent of England has officially got disabled access; this is a long way off the 100% disabled access objective by 2005.
The good news is that in an age where aesthetics mean a lot, the design and manufacturing of our products cater for this significantly. The modern day platform lifts are able to overcome many architectural hurdles whatever the size, age, orientation and scope of the building.