Over 20 per cent 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 were found in cities such as London, Bath, York and Manchester. This, in conjunction with findings from online training company AccessChamp, shows that only one in 10 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, said: “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 says having "a host of lift types designed to cater for those with restricted mobility, including platform lifts, through floor lifts, hoists, stairlifts and step lifts" are important because "such features can significantly impact visitors’ experience and satisfaction and a place’s reputation" adding that "monitoring how well they are performing, where they’re situated and what capacity they have is also important".
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.