Changing accessibility for the better

Hotel, Sport & Leisure Mon, Feb 26, 2018 10:21 AM

People with disabilities will find Liverpool one of the better airports to use when travelling by air with the completion of a £4million refurbishment and upgrade of the departure lounge.

Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LJLA) - already rated as good under the latest Civil Aviation Authority Accessibility Report- now includes a Changing Places assisted accessible toilet, added airside by the existing wheelchair-accessible male and female toilets.

Supplied by Closomat (Britain’s leading provider of away from home assisted accessible toilet solutions), and installed by Redbridge Interiors, the Changing Places toilet gives more space, to accommodate a wheelchair user and up to two carers, a ceiling track hoist, mobile changing bench and height adjustable washbasin. It is electronically accessed, with a call point and camera.

Colin Swaine, Liverpool John Lennon Airport Director of Operations, explained, “Liverpool is one of the UK’s fastest growing airports; we now handle 4.8million passengers a year, and appreciate that many of them require extra facilities beyond the ‘norm’.

“We have hoped to open a Changing Places for several years, in response to feedback from airport users, disability groups and campaigners. The refurbishment of the departure lounge to improve the customer experience gave us a good opportunity to deliver something that has been on our ‘wish list’ for some time, and which integrates well into our reputation as the easier and friendlier airport. It will also, we hope, have a positive contribution towards our customer satisfaction: the latest survey shows us as one of the best in terms of overall customer satisfaction.

“An added bonus is that the companies involved in creating the Changing Places are based in the region.”

Adds Tony Clough MBE, Britain’s leading Changing Places campaigner, who officially opened the new facility at LJLA, “Imagine if you couldn’t find a suitable toilet while waiting to catch a plane, having a drink or a meal out, while shopping?

“Without the additional facilities a Changing Places offers, at least 1 in 260 people face that situation. They are restricted in what they can do, where they can go, because, when they need the toilet, they need someone to help them, they need lifting, they need changing. None of these can be addressed in a conventional wheelchair-accessible toilet.

“Liverpool Airport’s opening of a Changing Places means that tens of thousands of disabled people can potentially now fly from the hub, knowing that if they need the toilet, there is somewhere suitable for them. It opens up the choice available to them.”

Under Building Regulations and British Standards, a Changing Places toilet is ‘desirable’ in buildings to which numbers of the public have access. Since their introduction a decade ago, more than1000 have been opened across the UK. Under British Standards, a Changing Places is provided in addition to conventional (Building Regulations Document M) wheelchair accessible toilets, and provides 12m2 (3m x 4m), with additional equipment including an adult-sized height adjustable changing bench and ceiling track hoist.

Closomat is Britain’s leading provider of helpful toileting solutions, at home and away, including Changing Places and their similar Space to Change facilities. Uniquely, the company can provide an in-house, ‘one- stop-shop’ complete package for ‘away from home’ assisted accessible toilet facilities, from design and commissioning, through to project management, supply and installation, and can also provide subsequent maintenance and repair.

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