Ensure lifts are available to those who need them

It is sad but not surprising to read of yet another escalator mishap ("Stuck stroller dislodges steps on MRT escalator"; Jan 13).

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) has repeatedly reminded the elderly and those with prams or bulky items not to use the escalators.

But how much attention has it paid to ensuring that they have easy access to the lifts?

It is regrettably common to see apparently able-bodied adults rush past those in wheelchairs or with strollers to get into the lifts at MRT stations and shopping malls.

The problem is worse at the small and dense suburban malls, such as I12 Katong, where only one lift serves all eight levels - from the basement carpark to the top-floor cineplex.

It is virtually impossible at peak hours to squeeze into the lift when one is on a middle floor.

In contrast, malls like VivoCity and Novena Square have banks of lifts spread throughout their premises.

Instead of blaming the elderly and those who use prams or trolleys for using the escalators, the BCA should pay greater attention to the design of public areas so that there is a sufficient supply of lifts in easily accessible locations.

There also needs to be greater awareness among the public that it is courteous to take the escalators and leave the lifts for those who need them the most.

Estella Young (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 16, 2017, with the headline 'Ensure lifts are available to those who need them'. Print Edition | Subscribe