Stairlifts and elevators are two tools that serve essentially the same purpose in totally different ways. Elevators are usually built into shafts crafted in specific sections of a building and operate within this enclosed case by using cabins as a transport device for riders. In contrast, stairlifts are rarely fully enclosed and offer a way for people in wheelchairs to get up and down stairs without any trouble. As always, there are exceptions to these descriptions, but in general, these are the main differences between stairlifts and elevators.
So can one be substituted for the other? One town council in England thinks so. According to BBC News, stairlifts will be taking the place of elevators in one building, at least for the time being:
“Residents of a 15-storey tower block in Paisley have raised concerns over council plans to replace a broken lift with 14 stairlifts. The stairlifts are being installed at Rowan Court to ferry residents on odd floors to the even floors where the lift is working. Renfrewshire Council said it is a temporary measure, while repair work is carried out.”
The story says that the concerns are generally the safety measures and the costs. Also, there is only one elevator currently running that won’t be fixed until November. So, as a measure to help residents who cannot make their way up and down stairs, 14 stair lifts are being put in:
“In the meantime Renfrewshire Council has decided to fit 14 stairlifts, at a cost of £15,000. Residents said it is a waste of money and they have called on the council to install a new lift as soon as possible. [A] spokeswoman said that the lifts had been due to be refurbished and that stairlifts would have been installed as standard practice while that work was going on.”
What do you think about this? Can stairlifts replace elevators, even for a short amount of time?