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Train station pathway for blind to be 'reconsidered'

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Train station pathway for blind to be 'reconsidered'
View of Lowenstrasse station. Photo: Hoff1980/Wikimedia Commons
20:58 CET+01:00
Federal authorities have backed down from a decision ordering Swiss Federal Railways to remove some of the tactile floor lines installed to guide the blind in Zurich's underground train station.

Three organizations for the vision impaired lodged a legal complaint about the federal transport office's order, which received widespread media attention across Switzerland on Sunday and Monday.

On Monday the office said it was reconsidering its decision, which it said was originally made in October 2015 over concern about the safety impact of too many guide lines at the Lowenstrasse station.

A representative of the office earlier told media, that “when there are too many tactile lines, people can no longer very well distinguish the principal safety lines which mark out the edge of the platforms”.

The office also pointed out the markings in question, leading from escalators to the edge of the platform, did not conform with standards.

In its October decision, the transport office stressed that it also mandated additional handrails to facilitate access for disabled people.


But advocates for the vision impaired said they were outraged by the planned removal of the lines and filed a complaint with the Federal Administrative Court in Saint Gallen.

Perhaps sensing a public relations disaster on its hands, the office said it would now reconsider the order and invite representatives of the organizations for the blind to participate in future decision-making on the issue.

It also promised to follow up with a review of the rules for tactile lines in the railways regulations and adjust them if necessary.  

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