For the last few months, Network Rail and Norther Rail’s contractors have been building a new ramp at Heald Green Station on the Manchester Aiport line – and very nice it is too. The ramp’s finished, but if you go along, you’ll see the entrance is still fenced off.
Why? Well, if you’re going to put in a ramp, you normally try and make it flush at the top and bottom so someone in a wheelchair could get on and off.
Unfortunately, this ramp doesn’t meet the pavement at the top – there’s a six inch drop from the pavement to the start of the ramp. Oops.
The contractors have been in touch with the council to help them out – can the pavement be dropped to form a lead-in to the ramp? From the Council side, it’s not ideal but yes, it can be done. However, there are all sorts of cables, pipes and boxes under our pavements so if you’re going to dig down more than an inch or two you need to check with the utility companies (cable, phone, electricity, gas, water) and make sure you don’t cut through anything.
So hopefully they’ll get there and open the ramp before too long.
I wouldn’t mention this, except that the staff at the station are being a little cheeky and blaming the Council for the problem when anyone asks. It isn’t the Council – it’s the ramp!