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Last edited 01 Nov 2017
Wheelchair platform stairlifts
The requirement for lifting devices is set out in Part M of the building regulations; Access to and use of buildings. Approved document M makes clear that passenger lifts are the most suitable form of vertical transportation, however, in some existing buildings, and very occasionally in new buildings, if a passenger lift cannot be accommodated, then a vertical lifting platform (or platform lift) may be considered as an alternative, and in exceptional circumstances in existing buildings, a wheelchair platform may be considered.
Wheelchair platforms, or wheelchair platform stairlifts are only for use by wheelchair users, not for general building users. They travel along the stair string (that is the panel on the side of a flight of stairs to which the treads and risers are fixed) allowing wheelchair users to travel up and down stairs while remaining seated in their wheelchair. They should not restrict the safe use of the stair by other users, and means of escape should be maintained when the wheelchair platform is in the parked position.
Wheelchair platforms are slow moving, limited to 0.15m/s, and so may not be suitable for users with some disabilities. They should be at least 800mm wide and 1250mm deep, with an effective clear width access of at least 800mm.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Access and inclusion in the built environment: policy and guidance.
- Access consultant.
- Approved document M.
- Changing lifestyles.
- Disabled access lifts.
- Firefighting lift.
- Inclusive design.
- Lifting device.
- Lifting platform.
- Lifts and Escalators: A Quality Perspective.
- Lifts and Their Special Operating Modes.
- Lifts for office buildings.
- Non-discriminatory building design.
- Platforms lifts and how they benefit people.
- Smart elevators.
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