Big changes are taking place in the Public Service Vehicles sector as the full implications of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 are being implemented.
The whole purpose of the Act is to give equal access to bus and coach services for people with disabilities.
Currently, there are some 10.7 million people of pensionable age, and this figure is expected to rise to about 15.5 million by 2030. The greatest proportionate increase will be in the very aged, i.e. those of 85 or more and of these, more than 75% can be expected to have a disability.
Bus and coach operators have been putting more vehicles into service with
provision for ease of access and carriage of the disabled, not only as a
result of the act, but also because of the revenue generated by this sector.
It is also predicted that the composition of bus fleets will change over the
next decade, with a reduction of the number of double decker units by nearly
25%, the number of midi buses up by over double current fleets to 15,000
vehicles and minibuses for 23 or more passengers up by over a third to over
Coaches too are predicted to share in this increase, with annual revenue
from disabled passengers increased by between £1 and £1.5 million.
With the move towards disabled access accelerating, and the number of people
using passenger transport set to increase, fleet operators not yet
considering converting existing fleets to provide disabled facilities, such
as kneeling systems, run the risk of missing out on future tenders.
KV Ltd., through its Mobile Systems Division based at the company
headquarters in Milton Keynes, is able to offer an easily retro-fittable
kneeling module which, in its standard form, is simple to install and
operate, uses the vehicles existing air supply to raise or lower the air
bags and requires minimal space.
Unlike other Electronic Controlled Air Suspension systems, KV’s module does
not require a sophisticated electronic controller, yet offers all the
benefits of automatic return to the driving level with a 4-5 second raise
facility. The system also has the ability to kneel the vehicle either from
side to side or front to back, and uses the ride height-levelling valve to
control the pressure in the air suspension system, proportionate to the
KV’s Mobile Systems Division Manager Martin Sanders says “ KV is a company
with many years experience in the transport industry and we have been
supplying the Bus & Coach sector for many years with door control and safety
systems, push buttons, actuators and components for numerous applications.”
He went on to say “This kneeling system has already been tried and tested in
the industry and praised for its simplicity to install, its efficiency in
operation and for its economy.”
There is an optional “Hi-Ride” module which bolts on to the standard unit,
and provides additional ground clearance plus a unique facility to “stop &
hold” the suspension to give finite height adjustment for differing kerb
heights or access levels.
The system takes its reference or datum point from the vehicle’s levelling
valve, which maintains the vehicle at a constant ride height, irrespective
of varying loads.
Where the driver requires the vehicle to kneel, a simple solenoid allows the
suspension air bags to deflate.
Actuating a second solenoid allows the system to inflate to the required
ride height set by the levelling valve.
Where the driver requires the vehicle to raise above the normal ride height,
the module can be supplied with the “Hi-Ride” facility for extra ground
clearance, and no extra electronics or ECU are required.
For further information, contact Martin Sanders at KV Mobile Systems
Division on 01908 561515, Fx 01908 561227
Tel 01908 561515
Fax 01908 561227