A team of eight building surveyors from the Leeds office of international project management and cost consultants Faithful+Gould, has successfully completed 425 station audits for Northern Rail in ten weeks.
The station surveys were undertaken to enable Northern Rail to identify the work required to improve disabled access at its stations.
Following the successful and timely completion of 125 station audits located all over the North of England - which was undertaken in just five weeks - Faithful+Gould’s team was again approached by Northern Rail in October 2006 to carry out audits on another 300 stations, which ranged, often dramatically in size.
During the short lifespan of the project, Faithful+Gould’s eight experts had a remit, which encompassed assessing where upgrades should be made and drawing up a strategic programme of work to be undertaken. Throughout this process its team had to take into account factors including average foot fall and which lines the stations are located on.
Adam Whitehead, associate director from Faithful+Gould, said: "This was a very challenging task for our team and we are delighted to have delivered it on time and to the high standards expected by our client.
"We managed to meet these expectations in the agreed timescale because of the excellent communication between our team of surveyors. This was absolutely crucial, as the micro manner in which the audits were managed had to be consistent and standardised - a very big task in such a short space of time.
"Following on from the delivery of our final report to Northern Rail, improvements are already being made to stations throughout the North of England, including additions such as the installation of ramps and hand rails."
Approximately 15% of the population are disabled and it is estimated that up to 30% of people would benefit from an accessible transport system. Accessibility benefits everyone, including the operator of services - making buildings easier and more convenient for everyone can help to improve their efficiency, for example reducing the time spent providing directions to visitors.
Jo North, Commercial Director for Northern Rail, said: "Having undertaken work for us before, to a high standard, Faithful+Gould’s proven track record was a major factor in our decision to re-appoint.
"Its team delivered the project on time and to the specification we asked for and was unobtrusive in the way in which it carried its work at the stations. In addition, Faithful+Gould fully understood our requirements and arranged the work with minimum hassle.
"Over the coming years the station audits will enable us to identify the work required to improve disabled access whilst also giving best value for money."