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“Risky, reckless and unimaginative.” Will there be a ban on using subway escalators?

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The Transport Technical Supervision, which looks after escalators on the railway and metro, clearly indicates that walking on them burdens the mechanism and is dangerous. It also cites the example of a city where a relevant ban was introduced.

According to the custom adopted in the Warsaw metro, when using the escalators, passengers line up on the right side. The left side remains free for those who are in a bigger hurry. However, “Gazeta Stołeczna” recently reminded us that this rule is no longer valid.

Stickers informing that on the stairs one should stand on one side, leaving the other free, disappeared from metro stations a few years ago. It is certain that they will not return. – According to the position of the Transport Technical Supervision, which supervises technical devices in the metro, such marking of the stairs suggests to passengers that they are using them in a manner inconsistent with the regulations and operating instructions. TDT thus expressed categorical opposition to the permission to walk on the escalators – said Anna Bartoń, spokeswoman for the Warsaw Metro, quoted by “Gazeta Stołeczna”.

“Risky, reckless and unimaginative”

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As Antoni Mielniczuk, spokesman for Transport Technical Supervision, explains in an email to our editorial office, escalators, like any device designed for long-term use, are safe and durable when used correctly. “According to the recommendations of the manufacturers of these devices included in the technical documentation, it is recommended that users stand on the steps while riding the stairs, holding the handrail and facing the direction of travel. Taking places alternately on the steps on the right and left side ensures that the steps (and therefore the entire structure of the device) are then loaded evenly and that the individual parts of the device wear out evenly,” explains Mielniczuk.

It categorically states that moving up the stairs is “extremely risky, reckless and unimaginative”. “Unintentionally hitting others while moving up the stairs can cause a fall with very serious consequences and even trigger a chain of dramatic events,” it warns.

Antoni Mielniczuk draws attention to another important detail. “According to anthropometric data, the shoulder width of an average adult male in Poland is 51.8 cm (…). In the opinion of TDT, the width of escalator steps (…) should be between 51.8 cm and 110 cm,” indicates the TDT spokesman. Therefore, it is not sufficient for two adults to pass each other freely, “which creates a risk of people walking on escalators hitting each other.” – This can have very serious consequences, especially for people going down,” he adds.

Will there be a ban?

In October last year, the Japanese city of Nagoya introduced a ban on using escalators, precisely because of the serious accidents that occurred there.

Will the Warsaw Metro introduce a similar ban? Such a decision has not been made yet. – We will implement all recommendations of the supervising institution – says Andrzej Rejnson from the Warsaw Metro press office.

tvnwarszawa.pl, “Gazeta Stołeczna”

Main image source: Olek Klekocki/tvnwarszawa.pl



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