Platform Tactile Installation

Tactiles are required at all new interfaces between pedestrians and vehicles to warn and protect the visually impaired from harm. Tactiles have repeatably been shown as an effective tool to improve safety on the railways and reduce the number of avoidable accidents at stations.

As a disability confident employer working in the rail industry, we want to understand, why aren’t tactiles present at every station platform?

Difficulties surrounding tactile installation

Installing tactiles on new platforms can easily be incorporated with minor additional cost. However, installing tactiles on existing platform edges by conventional civil works typically requires significant work and therefore significant costs. There are often requirements for possessions and even seemingly simple works can impact key stakeholders such as commuters, PRM, tenants, TOCs and station staff. Therefore the cost of retro-fitting tactiles can often quickly rise becoming unviable for mass roll out with already restricted budgets.

RPS works and innovative products

RPS are delighted to be supporting innovative products that could lead the way for innovation and development of tactiles on the railway. An initial trial was undertaken at a disused platform to see how two new products, one of them being resin based, could significantly reduce the cost and time required for installation. These new tactiles are non-invasive meaning there is minimal surface preparation required and no digging or impact on underground utilities. 

Future safety improvements

The recent RAIB report on the recent fatality at Eden Park station highlighted the lack of tactiles on the platform edge as a contributory factor. It also put forward various recommendations concerning the installation of tactiles at platform edges. You can read the full report here: Eden Park station report

If successful these new tactiles could be rolled out across many more platforms than could be budgeted for with current slab tactiles. A potentially crucial tool with which to address RAIB recommendations and make stations safer for all users. At RPS, we are very keen to see the installation of tactiles on every station across the UK, to improve safety and accessibility for all who use our train service.