Ride Access Pass Systems and Disabled Access

Discussion in 'European Parks and Attractions' started by skyscraper, 1st Apr 2018.

  1. RoyJess

    RoyJess TowersStreet Member

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    The guy that posted may be a legitimate rap user, it's not for me to judge. If the time is not being written on the cards, then that is the fault of the staff for not doing so.

    The fact that this guy is referring to the RAP as a fast track which is not what it is intended for, and he has the audacity to post it on social media, really not going to do any favours to all the legitimate users who often get abuse from the non rap users. Considering that most of the guest are currently having to stand in extortionate long queues, his post just simply rubbing salt into the wounds.
     
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  2. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

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    Well, I hope Towers will come down on him. After all, it wouldn't be fair for them to just single out enthusiasts on social media, would it?
     
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  3. speedy

    speedy TowersStreet Member

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    That post almost feels like it's being antagonising on purpose :mad:
     
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  4. IanSR

    IanSR TowersStreet Member

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    @DiogoJ42 or the social media one?

    It is annoying when you hear people refer to RAP as Fasttrack, most people think RAP is fasttrack, no need to reinforce that misconception.
     
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  5. DiogoJ42

    DiogoJ42 TowersStreet Member

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    ^ I was about to ask the same thing!
     
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  6. Benzin

    Benzin TowersStreet Member

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    Perhaps it's a lack of explanation on the part of the staff members? Plus the lack of staff not filling in the times... I recall having to fully explain the system a couple of times back at Chessie to people...

    Regarding evacuation systems, it's generally a difficult one; as can a park provide (any park this is, not just Towers) every possible solution to a disability in case they need to evacuate? Focusing on Towers, how would they evacuate someone unable to walk on Smiler's vertical lift and Air?

    I don't think it's as simple as installing a Stannah stair lift or a manual hoisting system, because there's a lot of cost there for minimal use, plus you then have to consider that all ride staff working on any ride with them installed would then have to be trained on the systems... I dread to think how much that would cost to send staff onto (and then of course they have to have an increase in pay grade due to specific training)...

    And if the option was to only train TLs or First Aiders, then you have an added issue of getting them on the ride in sufficient time and potential for certain people being off and then it truly hits the fan...

    The best bet from park POV is to put the responsibility of the person in question to their carer(s), especially from an insurance perspective too... Towers have always been a lot more erring on the side of caution regarding it, not allowing staff to assist disabled guests in or out of cars (and giving formal warnings if they did)...
     
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  7. speedy

    speedy TowersStreet Member

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    I understand health and safety regulation but cost shouldn't play a role. I am totally happy for my ticket to subsidise extra costs if it allows more people to ride. And if the park places responsibility in the person's carers that would be fine, however they haven't in this case they instead have a blanket ban.
     
  8. IanSR

    IanSR TowersStreet Member

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    That has been the defacto position of RAP for as long as I can remember, carer required or you don't ride (even applies to able bodied).

    Which is why this kids experience is so puzzling, he satisfied the requirements if I read the article correctly (able to walk short distances), yet it seems staff, and worse, management changed the requirements on the fly and just stared blankly at person when obvious flaws in their argument were pointed out (Skyride).

    How difficult is it to say to the carer you are responsible for embarking and disembarking the disabled guests onto rides, and they must be accompanied at all times because resort staff will not be able to assist you.... Oh hang on, that's exactly what they do say to you when you collect the pass from the RBO...
     
  9. Alsty

    Alsty TowersStreet Member

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    I think the problem is that if the carer assists with the evacuation and something goes wrong, the park could still be partly liable. It's one thing to physically help a disabled person in/out of a seat in a station, but on a lift hill for example? What about arrangements for fall-arrest harnesses etc which the carer has no experience of using?
     
  10. IanSR

    IanSR TowersStreet Member

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    Nope, you sign away the parks liability when you pick up the RAP, got load on them from every Merlin park and despite all the different procedures, they all have that one thing in common.

    It's why they load RAP on the rear, they are the first to be evacuated and usually nearest the bottom of the lift hill, they will assist, but generally it is the Carers responsibility to do most of the evac, been there and done all that.
     
  11. Alsty

    Alsty TowersStreet Member

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    I wasn't aware of that. However I'm not convinced a disclaimer provides them with a get out of jail card. The park still have a duty of care and I'm not sure how much weight these disclaimers would actually have in court. Even then, if they were absolved of any legal liability it would still be a disaster in the media.
     
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  12. IanSR

    IanSR TowersStreet Member

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    Yup, totally agree with you there. They made my son sign at Chessington, then when I pointed out he wasn't old enough to enter into a legal agreement, they scrambled around and got me to sign instead.
     
  13. Austin Towers

    Austin Towers TowersStreet Member

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    What baffles me is they said he has went on the rides every year for the past 8 years and never had an issue before yet Alton Towers say he can't go on the rides and that would have always been the case.

    So this means that even after the smiler incident and the subsequent court case that highlighted the issues of miscommunication and not doing things by the book that Alton Towers staff/management have been (at least until this year) miscommunicating and not doing things by the book.

    Intriguing.
     
    Last edited: 29th Jun 2018
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  14. IanSR

    IanSR TowersStreet Member

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    We were told no changes had been made to the RAP entrances/system/requirements in RBO on Good Friday, the person even argued with me about the new entrance on The Smiler saying not to believe internet rumours, and that SRQ's remained operational.

    Miscommunications seems to be their motto this year, and even when I went back later in the day to let them know they were wrong, the person I spoke to simply didn't care.

    Alton only have themselves to blame, even management couldn't give a crap.
     
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  15. Kraken27

    Kraken27 TowersStreet Member

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    This is incorrect (or certainly was back in the early 2000's). On Nemesis & Air, RAP guests were always loaded at the back, as this is the last row to be evacuated (they evac front to back). This obviously has the advantage you state that the disabled guest is closer to the bottom of the lift / the ground, but it also gives extra time for Medical / Security to arrive at the ride whilst able bodied guests are being evacuated. The only time I ever loaded a RAP guest onto the front row of Nemesis was one who had a plaster cast on & could not bend his knee - so the front row was the only one he could physically fit on with his leg "locked" outstretched.

    I am fairly sure Towers did have (probably still do) an evacuation chair suitable for lift-hill stairs that are not too steep (like Nemesis, Air, Th13teen & probably Spinball too). It has 3 wheels on each side, locked together in a sort of triangle shape so that as the triangle spins, it can traverse stairs. The disabled guest can be off-loaded from the train by the carer and then strapped into said chair to be safely wheeled down the lift by the ride staff. Many office buildings have such chairs, especially if they have restricted mobility staff working above the ground floor for use in a fire alarm situation when lifts cannot be used.

    As to an Air / Galactica lift evac - believe me, it is the absolute last thing you want to have to do. It takes an absolute age just to do one row filled with perfectly able bodied guests. For this reason, Air / Galactica has a diesel backup generator to crank the lift chain in the event of a power loss. All the brakes in the braking area can be manually freed to clear the service & safety brakes to receive a train, then closed again (doubtless with a LOT of protocols to follow now for reasons obvious). The lift chain can then be cranked on diesel power to return a stranded train to ground level where an evacuation is much easier.
     
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  16. skyscraper

    skyscraper TowersStreet Member

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    We know that, due to a certain incident a few years ago... :(
     
  17. IanSR

    IanSR TowersStreet Member

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    Been a long time since the early 2000's ;) They won't even let you ride with a cast now.

    The one time recently (2017) we were evac'd off a ride we were RAP, on the back row, and evac'd first, I'm just going on that personal experience, I've seen the chair you're talking about though, quiet an invention.
     
    Last edited: 30th Jun 2018
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  18. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    After my visit to Thorpe yesterday and Legoland on Saturday, I have to ask...

    Is there a reason why RAP can't work like a traditional virtual queue, rather than the 'ride now and then blackout for x minutes' system that operates now?

    Some of the crowd in the standby line were getting a little hostile toward the volume of RAP riders, who were seemingly descending on the ride from all corners of the park as it opened at noon(ish!). It would, in some ways assist with both perception and logistics if people waited the posted time for the ride prior to boarding, rather than afterward (if the host does their bit).
     
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  19. bluesonichd

    bluesonichd TowersStreet Member

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    cos merlin wont invest in the technology to make it happen, only at Legoland as thats where the money is and wouldn't want to upset all the lego people.
     
  20. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    It doesn't need technology, it can still be paper based as long as there is a method to prevent counterfeiting.
     
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