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Howard Centre

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

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Accessibility Guide

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Introduction

  • Services / facilities within the building include Ground Floor - Ernest Jones, Goldsmiths, Monsoon, Accessorize, H Samuel, EE, AnnA, Claires, New Look, Barclays, Marks and Spencer, Boots Opticians, Top Shop, Clarks, Clinton Cards, Fat Face, H&M, JD Sports, Sony Centre, Roman, Bags Etc, Card Factory, Vodafone, Next, WH Smith, Boots, Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Carphone Warehouse and Muffin Break. 1st Floor - Toni & Guy, Socialites, Thompson, Elegance 4U, Thomas Cook, Stevenson & Parker, Grape Tree, Supercuts, Muffin Break, H&M, O2, Rail Booking Office, The Shaken Cow, The Kiosk, The Entertainer, Shopmobility, Anytime Fitness, Repairs Plus, Starbucks and Management Suite.

Opening Times

  • Monday 09:00 - 17:30.
  • Tuesday 09:00 - 17:30.
  • Wednesday 09:00 - 17:30.
  • Thursday 09:00 - 17:30.
  • Friday 09:00 - 17:30.
  • Saturday 09:00 - 17:30.
  • Sunday 11:00 - 17:00.

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
    • 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.
    • Parking spaces for Blue Badge holders do not need to be booked in advance.
    • There is/are 10+ Blue Badge parking bay(s) within the car park.
    • The dimensions of the Blue Badge parking bay(s) are 420cm x 600cm (13ft 9in x 19ft 8in).
    • 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).
  • On Street Parking and Drop-off Details
    • There is a designated drop off point.
    • The drop off point is located on the basement level, along the service road.
  • Comments
    • 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 opposite Shopmobility 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)

  • This information is for the entrance located on Fretherne Road.
  • There is not level access into the venue.
  • The main door(s) open(s) automatically.
  • The door(s) is / are double.
  • The width of the door opening is 220cm (7ft 3in).
  • Comments
    • Either side of the automatic doors are single doors, which are power operated, open towards you and are 96cm wide.

Level Change (Main Entrance)

  • There is a ramp or slope to access this service.
  • The ramp or slope is located either side of the entrance.
  • The ramp or slope is moderate.
  • There is a / are step(s) to access this area / service.
  • The step(s) is/are located in front of the entrance.
  • There is / are 5 step(s) to the area / service.
  • There is not tactile paving at the top and bottom of the steps.
  • The step(s) is / are not clearly marked.
  • The step(s) is / are medium height.
  • The steps do have handrails.
  • The handrails are in the centre.
  • The ramp or slope does bypass the step(s).

Outside Access (North Entrance)

  • This information is for the entrance located off the bus station.
  • There is not level access into the venue.
  • The main door(s) open(s) automatically.
  • The door(s) is / are double.
  • The width of the door opening is 170cm (5ft 7in).
  • Comments
    • To the right, as you face the automatic doors, are 4 sets of double doors, which open both ways, are heavy and are 170cm wide.

Level Change (North Entrance)

  • There is a ramp or slope to access this service.
  • The ramp or slope is located to the left as you face the entrance.
  • The ramp or slope is moderate.
  • The ramp does have handrails.
  • The handrails are on the right going up.
  • The width of the ramp or slope is 140cm (4ft 7in).
  • There is a / are step(s) to access this area / service.
  • The step(s) is/are located in front of the entrance.
  • There is / are 6 step(s) to the area / service.
  • There is not tactile paving at the top and bottom of the steps.
  • The step(s) is / are clearly marked.
  • The step(s) is / are medium height.
  • The steps do have handrails.
  • The handrails are on both sides.
  • The ramp or slope does bypass the step(s).

Outside Access (Rail Station Entrance - Level 1)

  • This information is for the entrance located leading from the rail station, on the first floor.
  • There is not level access into the venue.
  • The main door(s) open(s) automatically.
  • The door(s) is / are double.
  • The width of the door opening is 170cm (5ft 7in).
  • Second set of doors
    • There is a second set of doors.
    • The door(s) open(s) automatically.
    • The door(s) is / are double.
    • The width of the door opening is 170cm (5ft 7in).
  • Comments
    • There are 2 sets of doors side by side.

Level Change (Rail Station Entrance - Level 1)

  • There is a ramp or slope to access this service.
  • The ramp or slope is located to the left as you face the entrance.
  • The ramp or slope is moderate.
  • There is a level landing at the top of the ramp.
  • The ramp does have handrails.
  • The handrails are on both sides.
  • The width of the ramp or slope is 140cm (4ft 7in).
  • There is a / are step(s) to access this area / service.
  • The step(s) is/are located in front of the entrance.
  • There is / are 10 step(s) to the area / service.
  • There is not tactile paving at the top and bottom of the steps.
  • The step(s) is / are not clearly marked.
  • The step(s) is / are medium height.
  • The steps do have handrails.
  • The handrails are on both sides.
  • The ramp or slope does bypass the step(s).

Outside Access (Car Park Entrance)

  • This information is for the entrance located on level 1 of the car park.
  • There is not level access into the venue.
  • The main door(s) open(s) automatically.
  • The door(s) is / are double.
  • The width of the door opening is 170cm (5ft 7in).
  • Second set of doors
    • There is a second set of doors.
    • The door(s) open(s) automatically.
    • The door(s) is / are double.
    • The width of the door opening is 170cm (5ft 7in).

Level Change (Car Park Entrance)

  • There is a ramp or slope to access this service.
  • The ramp or slope is located between the car park and the entrance.
  • The ramp or slope is easy.
  • There is a level landing at the top of the ramp.
  • The ramp does have handrails.
  • The handrails are on both sides.
  • The width of the ramp or slope is 120cm (3ft 11in).

Inside Access

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

Other Floors

  • Steps
    • 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 (11cm - 17cm).
    • The steps do have handrails.
    • The steps have a handrail on both sides.
    • There is a landing.
    • The lighting levels are bright.
  • Escalators
    • 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 bright.
  • Comments
    • 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 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 bright.
  • Comments
    • There is an additional lift located at the north end of the Howard Centre between the shops AnnA and Claire's.
    • 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.

Shopmobility

  • Route maps are not available.
  • Manual wheelchairs are available.
  • Powered wheelchairs are available.
  • Powered scooters are available.
  • Equipment does not have to be booked in advance.
  • There is not a hire charge.
  • Escorts are not normally available to assist around town / city.
  • Comments
    • Shopmobility is located on the first floor.
    • Shopmobility has free electric scooter and manual wheelchair hire.
    • Visitors would be required to register with the centre and they will then be given a membership card for all future visits.
    • The contact telephone number for Shopmobility is 01707 336 688.
    • Staff from Shopmobility are available to meet visitors in the car park, drop off point (basement level) and the taxi ranks.
    • Shopmobility is open 10.30 to 16.30 Monday to Saturday.

Accessible Toilet

  • Location and Access
    • Accessible toilet facilities are available.
    • The toilet is for the sole use of disabled people.
    • This accessible toilet is approximately 13m (14yd 8in) from the lift.
    • This accessible toilet is located on the first floor.
    • There is level access to this accessible toilet.
    • This is by lift.
  • Features and Dimensions
    • This is a unisex 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 light.
    • The dimensions of the accessible toilet are 190cm x 210cm (6ft 3in x 6ft 11in).
    • There is 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 145cm (4ft 9in).
    • 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 female sanitary and non-infectious waste disposal units.
    • There is a/are coat hook(s).
    • The coat hook is within 120cm (3ft 11in) from floor level.
  • Position of Fixtures
    • 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
    • The contrast between the external door and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the internal door and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the wall-mounted grab rail(s) and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the dropdown rail(s) and wall is good.
    • The contrast between the walls and floor is good.
    • The lighting levels are bright.
  • Comments
    • 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.

Standard Toilet(s)

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

Baby Change Facilities

  • Baby change facilities are located within the venue.
  • The baby change facilities are located on the first floor, past the accessible toilets.
  • Baby change facilities are located within a mother and baby room.
  • The height of the baby change table once extended is 94cm (3ft 1in).
  • Inside the venue, there is level access to the baby change facility.
  • This is by lift.

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.