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Accessibility Updates

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Important Lift Update - Updated July 2020

UPDATE July 2020:

Following the temporary suspension of all passenger travel in lifts in March 2020, passenger travel in lifts across campus has been reinstated with a restriction on the number of people who can travel in a lift at once. Signage is being installed across campus to advise on the maximum occupancy, but this will be a maximum of 2 persons in a lift at one time. Carers and enablers of disabled people are allowed to travel with disabled people in lifts as required.

The Estates Office would like to thank those who have been affected for their patience and cooperation with the temporary suspension of passenger travel in lifts on campus. Our supply chain are now available to the University again following a period of downtime due to the Covid-19 pandemic, so we now have the assurance that entrapments could be rectified within a reasonable timeframe. Please note that during this period of downtime, some statutory inspections of equipment have lapsed and these lifts will remain closed off until they have been reinspected. Whilst these will be inspected as soon as possible, the suppliers are still providing a prioritised service to the NHS and other sectors on the frontline of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Older updates:

UPDATE 06/04/2020:

Lift signage has started to be deployed across campus to advise users of the suspension as well as written communications. As time goes by, more lifts will lapse past their statutory inspection timeframes so regrettably some lifts are being taken out of service until they can be inspected by our suppliers who are also affected by the current situation. This inspection is a mandatory requirement for the lift to operate. Please note, however, that the majority of buildings on campus are now closed with card access suspended:

Please see below signs which are being put up on lifts across campus. [Image description: Sign from Estates notifying lift users of the temporary suspension of passenger travel in lifts. All information on the poster is available in the article above.]

Signage notifying lift users of the suspension

Original post 27/03/2020:

Passenger lifts transport people and goods up and down in almost all of our campus buildings. The University has a great relationship with external contractors who carry out maintenance, statutory inspections and emergency tasks. However, as the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic are being felt across the country and not just local to the University, our wider supply chain is also affected by the Government advice. During this extended period of change to business as usual, meeting our legal obligations of statutory inspections will also be affected, meaning that the regular inspections may not be able to take place within the prescribed timescales.

In the unfortunate event of one of the lifts breaking down with passengers inside, it requires specially trained individuals to free them. We are unable to provide assurance that someone would be able to be released within a timely manner relying on our supply chain alone. This would mean, a reliance on the Fire Service who have already had their duties extended to help with the national efforts of supporting the NHS and local communities.

Therefore, the decision has made to temporarily suspend all passenger travel in lifts across campus until further notice. Essential goods and equipment, such as liquid nitrogen, may continue to be transported within lifts on their own.

We acknowledge that some essential staff who are still working on campus may have disabilities or other reasons why lift access is essential and therefore we will work with those individuals to provide reasonable alternatives, such as ground floor working, where appropriate. Essential staff who are still working on campus and require lift access within the departments should discuss this with their line manager and contact the Estates Service Desk on 02476575100 or

In the event that the prescribed timescale for statutory inspection of a lift does lapse, regrettably it will be necessary to close that lift for all users until an inspection has been completed to ensure both the safety of users and that statutory obligations are met.

The Estates Office, March 2020

Jenny Wheeler, Estates Accessibility Officer added: “During these exceptional times, it is important to consider the impact of our own day-to-day tasks on the wider community and national efforts to support the country through the pandemic. The health and safety of all of our campus users is our priority and, as always, it is vital to balance risk and necessity. As a wheelchair user myself, I know the impact on individuals and how hard this decision has been for the University to make. I hope that other disabled staff and students can see why this decision has been taken and I thank everyone for their understanding.”

Fri 27 Mar 2020, 20:00 | Tags: URGENT Lifts Social Distancing