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Throughout the Access Guide a series of standard phrases e.g. ‘steep ramp’ or ‘easy going’ staircase etc, have been used to describe the access features of a building. The full meanings of these phrases include:

Ramps:

"steep"

A gradient greater than 1 in 12 is in excess of the maximum safe gradient for wheelchair users and very difficult to use.

"moderate"

A gradient of 1 in 12 to 1 in 14 is an acceptable gradient for most wheelchair users.

"easy going"

A gradient of 1 in 15 to 1 in 20 is a gentle gradient, easy to use for the majority of wheelchair users.

Stepped Access:

“steep” step height

The height of a step greater than 170mm will be difficult to climb for some people with an ambulant disability.

“easy going” step rise

The height of a step 170mm or less will be comfortable and easy to use.

“limited” tread

In general when a stair tread is less than 280mm it is difficult for someone to stand or if necessary to rest comfortably.

“suitable” tread

In general when a stair tread is 280mm or greater it is suitable for a person to stand or if necessary rest.

Doors:

“light to open” doors

A door that is easy to open will have an opening force of 30 Newtons or less.

“heavy to open” doors

A door that may prove difficult to open will have an opening force in excess of 30 Newtons.

Additional terms:

Automatic doors – Unless stated otherwise automatic doors will provide sufficient width to allow a wheelchair user access. The motion of the doors, either swing or slide and the means of activation will be described.

Wheelchair accessible WC – The WC will be typically suitable for a manual wheelchair user. It will have, at a minimum, internal dimensions of 1.5 metres x 2.0 metres, with an external opening door; to allow a wheelchair user and carer adequate space to manoeuvre. More recently constructed wheelchair accessible WCs will be larger, a minimum 1.5 metres x 2.2 metres. If the WC has additional facilities i.e. a shower or changing bench this will be described accordingly.

Contact Details

  • Name Access Officer, Planning and Environmental Health
  • Address Directorate of the Urban Environment, 4 Ednam Road, Dudley, West Midlands DY1 1HW
  • Telephone 01384 452111
  • Opening Hours Monday to Friday, 8.45 am to 5.00 pm, Please note that the offices are closed at weekends and Bank Holidays