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DISABILITY access flaws with the state’s new $4.4 billion trains were known by project managers as early as April 2012, when plans were made for a new design with one less toilet.
A Commission of Inquiry into how the train’s design breached disability access laws has delivered its findings to the State Government, which will release the report next week.
But The Courier-Mail can today reveal a briefing paper prepared for the New Generation Rollingstock project in April 19, 2012, by Queensland Rail flagged the design had a “non-compliant access path” under the Disability Discrimination Act between the two middle carriages, which have allocated disability seating and align with boarding points.
The paper showed a preference for one toilet for each six-car train, but it would mean just one of the two carriages designed for commuters with a disability had access to a toilet.
It continues that the access path between the carriages was non-compliant, leaving a person in a wheelchair who boarded the wrong carriage unable to access the toilet.
“A non-compliant access path between cars 3 and 4 may prove problematic for passengers who have difficulty traversing the access path, including parents trying to wheel prams/strollers, very large people or those with larger mobility devices,” the briefing states.
Commissioner Michael Forde has told The Courier-Mail that there was no evidence politicians or successive directors-general were formally advised of the disability access issues.
The Government announced in September 2017 that it would spend $150 million fixing the flaws.
This article first appeared on www.couriermail.com.au
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