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Seating should be generously provided on travel routes and wherever waiting
is likely. The recommended distance for people with impaired mobility is to
locate seating at least every 50m.
Many people find standing uncomfortable or impossible for more than a few minutes.
The provision of seating can prolong the length of time an individual, family
or group can pursue activities, such as shopping.
Seats should be firm, with backs, and arms on both sides of each single or
double seat or bench to support when getting up. Arms should be 200mm above
the seat, and finish in closed ends.
A choice of seat heights is desirable, where groups of seats are provided.
Seat heights should range around 450mm from the finished floor level, with a
minimum of 420mm and maximum of 500mm.
An alternative type of seat which may be suitable in some locations is the
perch-type seat, at a height of about 650mm, against which people lean or half-sit
for a short period of time. These are attractive to some people with arthritis,
stiff joints or back problems who find it difficult to get up from low seats.
Where seating is provided at locations such as waiting rooms and
reception areas, spaces of at least 900mm x 1400mm in each case should be left
to allow wheelchair users to sit in the area alongside other people. Space should
also be provided under or alongside seats to allow assistance dogs to lie clear
of pedestrian routes.
Seating must not obstruct the main corridor or travel routes.
It should be clearly visible and have good tonal/colour contrast with the surrounding
floor and wall furnishings.
Some seats may be labelled as priority seating for disabled people,
for example near to entrances and toilets.
All seating should be accessible to ambulant disabled people and half the number of seating spaces must be wheelchair accessible. Not all seats should be fixed to the floor. Seating may be moved to allow a wheelchair user to sit at a table, or extra leg-room for someone with stiff joints (see 6.16 Bars, Cafes and Restaurants).
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