Manchester United have confirmed that the club’s phased accessibility developments face setbacks due to additional safety assessments that are required to be undertaken across 3 stands at Old Trafford.
The work is still expected to be completed in time for the 2020-21 season, in keeping with the inital phased plan, however there will be a delay in the introduction of new accessible facilities in the North Stand for the 2017-18 campaign.
A club statement said:
“The club has a duty of care to fully assess the impact of disabled and non-disabled supporters using a shared concourse, before introducing any new facilities. Both computer modelling and ‘real-time’ assessments will be carried out by a third party during the course of the 2017-18 season, in a controlled manner, to ensure the safety of, and provide the best possible experience for all supporters.”
“Assessments will initially take place in the East Stand where some disabled supporters will make use of a new entrance and share the main concourse with non-disabled supporters for the first time. Due to the size of the East Stand concourse, this area is deemed the most suitable for the initial assessments, allowing the club to better understand the challenges of disabled and non-disabled supporters using a shared concourse in a ‘live’ operational setting, whilst minimising any risk.”
Once the results of the initial assessments are known and have been considered, the club will look to broaden the assessments to include other areas for friendlies and cup games not included in the automatic cup scheme; accordingly the club will also review the roll-out plan and communicate ahead of the 2018-19 season.”
Read full Manchester United statement here