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05 November 2003:
Improvements to building design improves access for disabled people
New building regulations launched today will ensure that all new and existing buildings are built and improved to standards that will make them more accessible to disabled people.
`The Building Regulations 2000: Approved Document M: Access to and use of buildings, 2004 edition' published today by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister will ensure that new buildings meet reasonable standards of accessibility. Access to existing buildings will be considered when undergoing renovation or improvement.
In welcoming the new regulations, DPTAC Chair Neil Betteridge said:
"The new Part M will support the Government's aim of an inclusive and sustainable society. For many disabled people, the ability to live independently depends on keeping mobile, and having the same access to shops, leisure and work that everyone else does. The new Approved Document M will ensure that all future buildings, transport infrastructure and access routes to them are designed to be accessible".
Peter Barker OBE, Lead Member on the Built Environment said:
"Not only can we achieve buildings that people can get into but, if we consider the needs of disabled people within the building, such as by providing wider doorways, good signage, unobstructed walkways and accessible facilities, we make using those buildings easy for everyone".
The Regulations will enable developers and property managers to address the October 2004 duties introduced under Part III of the Disability Discrimination Act covering physical features that make it impossible or unreasonably difficult for disabled people to access goods, facilities, services and premises. Achieving accessibility for disabled people is the responsibility of the provider.
Further details about DPTAC are available at dptac.independent.gov.uk.
Notes to Editors
1. The Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC) was set up under the Transport Act of 1985 to advise Government on the transport needs of all disabled people. In 2000 its remit was extended to advise Government on improving access to the build environment for disabled people. It has a maximum of 20 members (of whom at least half must be disabled people), representing a wide range of transport interests. Members are appointed by Ministers and are unpaid, apart from the reimbursement of expenses.
2. For further information on DPTAC, contact the Secretary, Andy Kirby on 020 7944 8012, (textphone 020 7944 3277), fax 020 7944 6998 or email email@example.com.
For copies of the guide contact:
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister
PO Box 236
Tel: 0870 1226 236
Fax: 0870 1226 237
Textphone: 0870 1207 405
or online at www.communities.gov.uk/planningandbuilding/buildingregulations/