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Outcome of national meeting on TGSIs and rail infrastructure

Outcome of national meeting:
Tactile ground surface indicators and access paths on railway platforms

December 2002; This page retained for historical significance

This document was agreed at a meeting following from the temporary exemption
in this area granted to Queensland Rail, by representatives of the Physical
Disability Council of Australia, Blind Citizens Australia, HREOC, the
National Transport Secretariat, and rail operators QR, State Rail Authority
of NSW, and Victoria's Connex and National Express. The meeting was convened
to progress issues of how to balance the need for installation of tactile
ground surface indicators (TGSIs) for safety and direction finding for
people with vision impairments, with needs for clear access paths.

Participants regarded the document as representing the existing effect
of the Disability Standards for Accessible Public Transport, taking into
account the provisions regarding unjustifiable hardship and equivalent

Participants also agreed however that all parties concerned would benefit
from the greatest degree of certainty that can be provided in this respect
so that resources are spent achieving access rather than litigating about

Standards Australia has been asked to consider how the results of this
work might be reflected in relevant Australian Standards.

HREOC also undertook to raise with Commonwealth Department of Transport
and Attorney-General's Departments issues regarding incorporation of this
work into the guidelines accompanying the Disability Standards for Accessible
Public Transport, and further processes required to consider its incorporation
into the substantive provisions of those standards .

In summary:

  • All operators agreed on the importance of installing warning TGSIs
    at platform edges for safety.
  • All participants agreed that while directional TGSIs provided a valuable
    means of providing wayfinding information, their use should be kept
    to a minimum to avoid unnecessarily adverse impacts on wheelchair users
    and ambulant passengers with disabilities.
  • All participants agreed on a need for the greatest attainable degree
    of uniformity within systems and nationally in application of TGSIs
    so that users are given consistent meanings
  • All participants agreed on a need for guidelines for colour contrast
    and for these to be reflected in relevant Australian Standards and the
    Disability Standards.

David Mason
Director Disability Rights policy HREOC

Access paths on railway station platforms when installing
warning TSGIs on platform edges.

New platforms

New platforms must comply with the Transport Standards.

Existing stations and platforms

Existing stations and platforms must be brought into compliance with
the Transport Standards to the maximum extent possible.

Fittings and fixtures (bins, seats, vending machines) must be relocated
to the extent possible to achieve maximum compliance.

Requirements for warning TGSIs to be installed on platform edges may
compromise clear access paths in some circumstances as indicated below.

Site constraints preventing fully compliant paths of

Clear access path width may be reduced from 1200mm to 1000mm where site
constraints or fixed structures preclude full compliance. This includes
new structures constructed within existing site constraints.

Existing platforms - exceptionally severe site constraints

Where an access path width of 1000mm cannot be achieved adjacent to the
600mm TGSI then compliance must be maximized by a range of options, which
may include:

1. Equivalent access by maintaining an access path of 1000mm (min) to
at least one side of an obstacle.

2. Providing an access path of 1000mm (min) to a designated boarding
point and equivalent access to essential facilities on the platform.

Using platform edge warning TGSIs as part of the access

Where 1000mm clear access path cannot be achieved by the options outlined
above, warning TGSIs may form part of the access path (for example where
power stanchions or other fixed structures on platforms need to be passed).
The overlap of warning TGSIs and access paths must be minimized.

Information to passengers

Where stations do not have a clear access path width of 1000mm, operators
should provide passengers with information (including at stations and
through internet sites and other appropriate information methods) detailing
access features provided.