Hearing Loops provide greater access to tram services in Nottingham for people with hearing loss
Ampetronic have been shortlisted for the 2015 UK Rail Industry Awards in recognition of the Nottingham Express Transit (N.E.T.) tram network project that will result in the installation of hearing loops on-board tram carriages and on the platform waiting areas around the passenger information display screens.
Ampetronic worked in partnership with Efacec and Alstom to provide Hearing Loop solutions to 22 new trams and 85 new and existing platforms as part of the N.E.T. network expansion and rejuvenation project.
The N.E.T. service is the first tramway in the country to be fully accessible and compliant with the Equality Act of 2010. The N.E.T. services are now not only accessible to the physically disabled, but also have valuable and genuinely beneficial provision for the increasing population of people with hearing loss, who use the network on a daily basis.
Equality of access to audio services is vital for people with hearing loss as they need to be kept informed of important service announcements in the same way as everyone else. By connecting to a Hearing Loop using their own hearing aid they can hear public address announcements on platforms as well as simple but essential messages while on-board the vehicles, such as what stop they are approaching and emergency broadcasts.
Successfully installing Hearing Loops on-board train and tram carriages presents many challenges relating to vibration, electromagnetic interference, power supply, connections and signal degradation of the system due to metal construction. However, as industry leaders in this field, these issues have been successfully mitigated by Ampetronic with careful system design and the introduction of a new product that addresses specific rail Standards requirements.
The awards ceremony is to take place on the 19th of February at the Battersea Evolution in London and will be hosted by comedian and television presenter Miles Jupp.