PLS_access_Lite_post_office_1 (2)PLS (Passenger Lift Services), a Mobility Networks company, has successfully designed and installed a unique rear access dual bumper step and powered cassette lift solution, to ensure the new mobile Post Office fleet is accessible to all.

PLS based in Smethwick, West Midlands, is the UK-leading name in the design, manufacture and maintenance of powered wheelchair lifts and ramps for accessible buses, coaches, ambulances and specialist vehicles. It has completed the fitting of 40 new Access(TM) combined lift and step solutions to the latest Mercedes MWB Sprinters operating as mobile Post Offices. These specially converted vehicles provide a vital resource for rural and remote communities as part of Post Office’s commitment to being there for its customers across the UK. The conversions were completed by Leicester Carriage Builders who worked in conjunction with PLS, so that the steps and powered wheelchair lifts were installed effectively and efficiently.

Providing safe accessibility for able-bodied, mobility-restricted and wheelchair-using customers represented a unique challenge for PLS. Its R&D department employed its 25 years of experience in the sector, to develop a combined double bumper step and lift specially adapted for these Sprinter vans. This solution was based on its proven Access(TM) Lite Cassette Lift ‘Elite’ that provides:

* spacious and strong 825x1410mm platform with 400kg SWL

* enhanced safety through extendable handrails and Stop Safe barrier

* Dual Bumper Step for maximised accessibility

* fuel consumption savings in relation to competitor products through a lightweight design

The level of accessibility and safety was further enhanced by the installation of grabs rails on the inside of the rear doors, high visibility edging and anti-slip surfaces. Adam Beck, PLS Managing Director commented: “When we were approached to supply Leicester Carriage Builders with the appropriate access solution for these vehicles, we immediately knew that our Access(TM) Lite Cassette Lift would be ideal. However we engaged our R&D team to ensure the design was 100% suitable and would deliver maximum accessibility for high footfall at the rear of the vehicle. We worked effectively with the convertors to ensure the 40-strong fleet was operational on time and within budget. These Sprinters are now providing an essential service and users feedback has illustrated the high accessibility our combined lift and step solution provides.”

Steve Stones, Commercial Sales Manager for Leicester Carriage Builders added: “We ensured the long standing relationship with PLS was maximised so that our client, Post Office Limited, was fully satisfied with our combined solution.”

Nigel Parry, Post Office Outreach Concept Design Manager, said: “We are very pleased with these 40 new mobile post offices, which provide vital services for customers at over 250 rural locations every week. As we modernise to meet customers’ needs, accessibility is key. The Dual Bumper Step and wheelchair lift designed by PLS for these new vehicles has been a brilliant solution for us, and customers have been really impressed.”