Accessibility Tools

Owen Ellis on behalf of Merseyrail

Diversity Impact Assessments


Vextrix was appointed to deliver Diversity Impact Assessments on the refurbishment and construction of lifts and toilets at Conway Park, Hunts Cross and St Michaels train stations by our client Owen Ellis on behalf of Merseyrail.

Diversity Impact Assessments are a requirement of Network Rail’s design approval submissions. Every design must be assessed in line with the accessibility standards and go through to consultation. Once completed the DIA form is submitted to Network Rail for review and approval.

Appointed at the Design stage, our team were responsible for reviewing the designs in line with the accessibility standards, the British Standard BS8300, the approved Documents M and K, and the Design Standards for Accessible Railway Stations.

As part of the DIA reviews, the team took the surrounding environment into consideration and the direct impact on the accessibility of the designed feature or structure. Reporting back on any concerns, the team then proposed solutions to support accessibility around the stations.

Successful recommendations provided by the team were implemented into the scope of works, resulting in improvements to the accessibility of the stations. The scope of the improvements included:

  • Visually contrasting bands on posts and visually contrasting backgrounds for strategic elements such as lift call buttons, making them more visible for members of the public that are partially sighted.
  • Changing the positions of push buttons to offer increased access to those with disabilities.
  • The installation of CCTV cabinets and columns away from circulation routes, reducing obstructions for people with visual impairments. Equipment in restricted space at train stations can also make walkways difficult to navigate for wheelchair users and people with guide dogs and puts them at risk of becoming too close to the platform edge.

If the scope of works involved the wider public realm, the team also reviewed these specific requirements. Once comments were issued, drawings were updated to reflect any design elements that would support or enhance the accessibility of the proposed design. Once the designs were updated, a consultation meeting was arranged with the Built Environment Accessibility Panel (BEAP), the station managers, and where available, the station users. The team also conversed with the Accessibility Consultants of the Train Operating Companies when projects were met with complexities.


Their experience and training in accessible design, along with established contacts with charity organisations, means the team approached the completion of these DIA’s with the utmost focus on providing the best possible solutions to accessibility.