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Friday, 15 December 2006
A lift at Heathrow

Heathrow lift outside

I recently had cause to visit Heathrow airport. This is a view of the lift at the short stay parking garage at terminal 4. It strikes me as strange that the button to call the lift is about 1,6 metres from the ground, and not accessible to someone in a wheelchair. I would have thought that this was illegal under the Disability Discrimination Act.


Heathrow lift inside

Inside the lift it is a different story: the bottom button (“door open”) is a mere 1 metre from the ground, which is fine for people in wheelchairs (but awkward for everyone else).  This is not illegal and I have no problems with it (unlike the buttons outside the lift). However it brought to mind the following puzzle:

A man lived upon the top floor of a thirty-five floor block of flats. Every morning, when leaving for work, he would get in the lift from the thirty-fifth floor to the ground floor. However when he returned from work in the evening he would take the lift only to the twentieth floor where he would exit the lift and walk up the stairs to his flat.  However if it was raining he would catch the lift all the way to the top floor. He is not climbing the stairs for exercise, so what explains this behaviour?

The answer is that he was a short man who couldn’t reach the 35th button in the lift - he could only reach the 20th. However if it was raining he had his umbrella with him and would use this to push the higher button.  Another variation on this puzzle replaces the “if it was raining” with an “if there was somebody else in the lift”.

So my variation on the story would involve a man or woman who hangs around in the parking garage at Heathrow until someone comes along and catches the lift. If someone doesn’t come for a long time then he or she misses their plane…

Posted by bigblue on 15/12/2006 at 05:24 AM
Filed under: EuropeUnited KingdomEngland • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share

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