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The Howard Centre

Osborn Way, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, AL8 6HA

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Access Guide

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Introduction

  • Services / facilities within the building include Ground Floor - Ernest Jones, Hotel Chocolat, Goldsmiths, Monsoon, Accessorize, EE, Recover, Claires, New Look, Barclays, Marks and Spencer, Boots Opticians, Validate, Clarks, Clinton Cards, Fat Face, H&M, JD Sports, Pandora, Roman, Ray Mia, Card Factory, Vodafone, WH Smith, Boots and Wenzel's The Bakery.
    1st Floor - Toni & Guy, TUI, Grape Tree, Muffin Break, H&M, O2, Rail Booking Office, The Kiosk, The Entertainer, Anytime Fitness, Repairs Plus, Starbucks and Management Suite.

Opening Hours

Location

  • There is a bus stop within 150m (164yds) of the venue.
  • The nearest National Rail station is Welwyn Garden City.

Parking

  • The venue does have its own car park.
  • Venue Car Park View
    • Parking is not free for all users.
    • Parking is not free for Blue Badge holders.
    • The car park is located at the south end of the shopping centre.
    • The car park type is multi storey.
    • There is/are 10+ Blue Badge parking bay(s) within the car park.
    • The dimensions of the Blue Badge parking bay(s) are 380cm x 495cm (12ft 6in x 16ft 3in).
    • The nearest Blue Badge bay is 22m (24yd 2in) from the first floor car park entrance.
    • The furthest Blue Badge bay is 45m (49yd 8in) from the first floor car park entrance.
    • The route from the car park to the entrance is accessible to a wheelchair user with assistance.
    • Assistance may be required because there is/are slopes/ramps.
    • The car park surface is tarmac.
    • There is a road to cross between the car park and the entrance.
    • The road is generally busy.
    • The car park does have a height restriction barrier.
    • The maximum height is 200cm (6ft 7in).
  • Drop-off Point View
    • There is a designated drop off point.
    • The drop off point is located on the basement level, along the service road.
  • Comments View
    • There are 725 parking spaces in the car park and parking is over 8 levels.
    • The spaces for Blue Badge holders are all located on level 1 of the car park.
    • There are a number of parent and child parking spaces which are located on levels 3, 5 and 7.
    • Help points are located on levels 3, 5 and 7 and at all pay stations and barrier points.
    • Entry to the car park is from 04.00 to 20.00 hours, Monday to Saturday and from 06.00 to 20.00 hours on Sunday.
    • The car park pay stations only accept cash payments.
    • The pay stations are located near Dorothy Perkins on the ground floor and on the first floor.
    • The photographs also show the route from the Blue Badge parking bays to the entrance located on level 1.

Outside Access (Main Entrance)

  • Entrance View
    • This information is for the entrance located on Fretherne Road.
    • There is ramped/sloped or stepped access at this entrance.
    • The main door(s) open(s) automatically.
    • The door(s) is/are double width.
    • The width of the door opening is 223cm.
  • Ramp/Slope View
    • The ramp/slope is located either side of the entrance.
    • The gradient of the ramp/slope is slight.
    • The ramp/slope is permanent.
    • There is a level landing at the top of the ramp/slope.
    • There is not a/are not handrail(s) at the ramp.
    • The ramp/slope does bypass the step(s).
  • Step(s) View
    • The step(s) is/are located in front of the entrance.
    • There is/are 5 step(s).
    • The step(s) is/are not clearly marked.
    • The height of the step(s) is/are between 15cm and 18cm.
    • The height of the step(s) is/are 17cm.
    • There is a/are handrail(s) at the step(s).
    • The handrail(s) is/are in the centre.
    • Handrails are at the recommended height (90cm-100cm).
    • Handrails do cover the flight of stairs throughout its length.
    • Handrails are easy to grip.
    • Handrails do not extend horizontally beyond the first and last steps.
    • There is a second lower handrail.
    • The lighting levels at the step(s) are moderate to good.
  • Comments View
    • Either side of the automatic doors are single doors, which are power operated, open towards you and are 89cm wide.

Outside Access (North Entrance)

  • Entrance View
    • This information is for the entrance located off Stonebank.
    • There is ramped/sloped or stepped access at this entrance.
    • The main door(s) open(s) automatically (towards you).
    • The door(s) is/are double width.
    • The width of the door opening is 176cm.
  • Ramp/Slope View
    • The ramp/slope is located to the left of the entrance.
    • The gradient of the ramp/slope is steep.
    • The ramp/slope is permanent.
    • There is a level landing at the top of the ramp/slope.
    • There is a/are handrail(s) at the ramp.
    • The handrail(s) is/are on both sides.
    • The ramp/slope does bypass the step(s).
  • Step(s) View
    • The step(s) is/are located in front of the entrance.
    • There is/are 6 step(s).
    • The step(s) is/are clearly marked.
    • The height of the step(s) is/are not between 15cm and 18cm.
    • The height of the step(s) is/are 12cm.
    • There is a/are handrail(s) at the step(s).
    • The handrail(s) is/are on both sides.
    • Handrails are at the recommended height (90cm-100cm).
    • Handrails do cover the flight of stairs throughout its length.
    • Handrails are easy to grip.
    • Handrails do not extend horizontally beyond the first and last steps.
  • Comments View
    • To the right, as you face the automatic doors, are 4 sets of double doors, which open both ways and are heavy.
    • The width of the doors are 190cm.

Outside Access (Rail Station Entrance - Level 1)

  • Entrance View
    • This information is for the entrance located leading from the rail station, on the first floor.
    • There is ramped/sloped or stepped access at this entrance.
    • The main door(s) open(s) automatically (towards you).
    • The door(s) is/are double width.
    • The width of the door opening is 169cm.
  • Ramp/Slope View
    • The ramp/slope is located to the left of the entrance.
    • The gradient of the ramp/slope is steep.
    • The ramp/slope is permanent.
    • There is a level landing at the top of the ramp/slope.
    • There is a/are handrail(s) at the ramp.
    • The handrail(s) is/are on both sides.
    • The width of the ramp/slope is 140cm (4ft 7in).
    • The ramp/slope does bypass the step(s).
  • Step(s) View
    • The step(s) is/are located in front of the entrance.
    • There is/are 10 step(s).
    • The step(s) is/are not clearly marked.
    • The height of the step(s) is/are between 15cm and 18cm.
    • The height of the step(s) is/are 16cm.
    • There is a/are handrail(s) at the step(s).
    • The handrail(s) is/are on both sides.
    • Handrails are at the recommended height (90cm-100cm).
    • Handrails do cover the flight of stairs throughout its length.
    • Handrails are easy to grip.
    • Handrails do not extend horizontally beyond the first and last steps.

Outside Access (Car Park Entrance)

  • Entrance View
    • This information is for the entrance located on level 1 of the car park.
    • There is ramped/sloped access at this entrance.
    • The main door(s) open(s) away from you (push).
    • The door(s) is/are double width.
    • The width of the door opening is 149cm.
    • There is a second set of doors.
    • The door(s) open(s) automatically (towards you).
    • The door(s) is/are double width.
    • The width of the door opening is 150cm.
  • Ramp/Slope View
    • The ramp/slope is located to the left of the entrance.
    • The gradient of the ramp/slope is slight.
    • The ramp/slope is permanent.
    • There is a level landing at the top of the ramp/slope.
    • There is a/are handrail(s) at the ramp.
    • The handrail(s) is/are on both sides.
    • The width of the ramp/slope is 133cm (4ft 4in).

Inside Access

  • There is level access to the service(s).
  • There is not a hearing assistance system.
  • This venue does play background music.
  • Music is played throughout the shopping centre.
  • Motorised scooters are welcomed in public parts of the venue.
  • The lighting levels are good.

Other Floors

  • Steps View
    • The floors which are accessible by stairs are B, G, 1, 3, 5, 7.
    • There are 15+ steps between floors.
    • The steps are clearly marked.
    • The steps are medium height (11cm - 17cm).
    • The steps do have handrails.
    • The steps have a handrail on both sides.
    • There is a landing.
    • The lighting levels are good.
  • Escalators View
    • Escalator(s) can be used to access other floors.
    • The floors which are accessible by escalator are G, 1.
    • The escalators steps are not clearly marked.
    • The foot and head of the escalators are not clearly marked.
    • The lighting levels are good.
  • Comments View
    • There is an additional set of escalators located at the north end of the Howard Centre opposite Marks and Spencer.
    • These escalators only allow access between the ground floor and the upper mall.

Lift

  • There is a lift for public use.
  • The lift is located at the south end of the Howard Centre.
  • The lift is a standard lift.
  • The floors which are accessible by this lift are B, G, 1, 3, 5, 7.
  • The lift is approximately 38m (41yd 1ft) from the main entrance.
  • Staff do not need to be notified for use of the lift.
  • The clear door width is 108cm (3ft 7in).
  • The dimensions of the lift are 150cm x 140cm (4ft 11in x 4ft 7in).
  • There are not separate entry and exit doors in the lift.
  • There is not a mirror to aid reversing out of the lift.
  • The lift does have a visual floor indicator.
  • The lift does have an audible announcer.
  • The controls for the lift are within 90cm - 120cm from the floor.
  • The lift does not have Braille markings.
  • The lift does have tactile markings.
  • The lighting level in the lift is good.
  • Comments View
    • There is an additional lift located at the north end of the Howard Centre (photographs 5 and 6).
    • The lift only allows access between the ground floor and the upper mall (level 1).
    • The basement level is only for accessing the drop-off point, which is underneath the Howard Centre on the service road.
    • The main lifts are closed at 19.15 daily and access to the car park levels after this time is only by stairs.

Accessible Toilet (First Floor - Left Transfer)

  • Accessible toilet facilities are available.
  • Location and Access View
    • There is pictorial signage on or near the toilet door.
    • This accessible toilet is approximately 30m (32yd 2ft) from the lift.
    • This accessible toilet is located on the first floor.
    • There is level access to this accessible toilet.
  • Features and Dimensions View
    • This is a shared toilet.
    • A key is required for the accessible toilet.
    • The key is a radar key.
    • The key can be obtained from a member of centre management or security staff.
    • The door opens outwards.
    • The door is locked by a locking handle.
    • The width of the accessible toilet door is 85cm (2ft 9in).
    • The door is easy to open.
    • The dimensions of the accessible toilet are 214cm x 196cm (7ft x 6ft 5in).
    • There is not sufficient turning space in the cubicle for a wheelchair user.
    • There is a lateral transfer space.
    • As you face the toilet pan the transfer space is on the left.
    • The lateral transfer space is 143cm (4ft 8in).
    • There is a dropdown rail on the transfer side.
    • There is a flush, however it is not on the transfer side.
    • The tap type is lever.
    • There is a mixer tap.
    • There is an emergency alarm.
    • The emergency pull cord alarm is not fully functional.
    • The alarm was out of reach (higher than 10cm (4") from floor) when surveyed.
    • Disposal facilities are available in the cubicle.
    • There is a/are sanitary, non-infectious waste and waste paper pedal bin disposal units.
    • There is a/are coat hook(s).
    • The height of the coat hook is 120cm from the floor.
  • Position of Fixtures View
    • Wall mounted grab rails are available for the toilet.
    • As you face the toilet the wall-mounted grab rails are on both sides.
    • There is not a shelf within the accessible toilet.
    • There is a mirror.
    • Mirrors are placed at a lower level or at an angle for ease of use.
    • The height of the toilet seat above floor level is 48cm (1ft 7in).
    • There is a hand dryer.
    • The hand dryer cannot be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The hand dryer is not placed higher than 100cm (3ft 3in).
    • There is not a towel dispenser.
    • There is a toilet roll holder.
    • The toilet roll holder can be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The toilet roll holder is not placed higher than 100cm (3ft 3in).
    • There is a wash basin.
    • The wash basin cannot be reached from seated on the toilet.
    • The wash basin is not placed higher than 74cm (2ft 5in).
  • Colour Contrast and Lighting View
    • The contrast between the external door and wall is good.
    • There is a high colour contrast between the internal door and wall.
    • The contrast between the wall-mounted grab rail(s) and wall is good.
    • There is a good colour contrast between the dropdown rail(s) and wall.
    • The contrast between the walls and floor is good.
    • The lighting levels are good.
  • Comments View
    • There are 2 accessible toilets located side by side.
    • The second accessible toilet is a mirror image of the toilet surveyed and the transfer space is on the right (photographs 5 to 8).

Standard Toilet(s) (First Floor)

  • Availability and Location of Standard Toilets View
    • Standard toilet facilities are available.
  • Access to Standard Female Toilet(s) View
    • The female toilet facilities that were surveyed are located on the first floor.
    • The female toilet(s) is/are approximately 28m (30yd 1ft) from the lift.
    • Inside the venue, there is level access to the female toilet(s).
    • Lighting levels in the female toilets are good.
  • Access to Standard Male Toilet(s) View
    • The male toilet facilities that were surveyed are located on the first floor.
    • The male toilet(s) is/are approximately 22m (24yd 2in) from the lift.
    • Inside the venue, there is level access to the male toilet(s).
    • Lighting levels in the male toilets are good.

Parent and Baby Room (First Floor)

  • There is a parent and baby room for public use.
  • The parent and baby room is located on the first floor, past the accessible toilets.
  • There is step-free access to the parent and baby room.
  • The baby change table is not set against the wall, permanently fixed at 75cm from the floor.
  • The baby change table is not height adjustable.
  • The height of the baby change table once extended is 98cm (3ft 3in).
  • There is a wash basin in the parent and baby room.
  • The lighting levels are moderate to good.

Additional Info

  • Staff do receive disability awareness / equality training.
  • Documents are not available in Braille.
  • Documents are not available in large print.
  • A bowl of water can be provided for an assistance dog.
  • A member of staff trained in BSL skills is not normally on duty.