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Regulator Reveals Average of 24 Faults Per Day for Lifts at Railway Stations 

Regulator Reveals Average of 24 Faults Per Day for Lifts at Railway Stations 
21 March 2024

A review of the reliability of lifts across the UK rail network has raised concerns over the rate of lift faults.

Network rail manages 1,331 passenger lifts across 491 train stations. The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) found that for the year from October 2022, there were 8,696 faults affecting passenger lifts. On average, that’s 6.6 faults for each lift, or 24 faults each day on the network. 

In the same year, passengers got trapped in a lift 601 times.


Lift Faults at Railway Stations Take Over 20 Hours to Repair


With each fault taking on average over 20 hours to repair, this can potentially affect disabled passengers who already face a restricted choice of accessible transport options.

The ORR says that Network Rail should “take appropriate measures” to reduce the occurrence of lift downtime at train stations. The regulator will now complete a review of Network Rail’s monitoring and management processes to ensure it is taking measures to plan and carry out maintenance and repairs.


Real-Time Data Reporting on Lift Outages


Network Rail has acknowledged the findings and said they are already taking steps to address lift performance. Part of this is around the availability of station facilities in real-time to assist with passenger journey planning.

Network Rail said they are working on a project to provide live information on the status of the lifts they manage as part of their Smarter Information Smarter Journeys programme. 

Stephanie Tobyn, ORR’s Director of Strategy, Policy and Reform, said: “Lift reliability is crucial for an accessible railway. Out-of-service lifts pose barriers for disabled passengers, as well as those with mobility issues, pushchairs, or luggage. When a lift is unavailable, accurate information is then essential for confident journey planning. While progress is being made, sustained focus and further improvement is vital.”

Picture: a photograph showing people waiting for a customer lift on a railway platform. Two of the people are using walking sticks and one has a suitcase. Image Credit: The Office of Rail and Road

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 21 March 2024


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