Wheelchair user stranded in city after disabled access shut at 8pm
- Credit: Simon Sansome
A wheelchair user has slammed a car park operator after he was unable to get to his vehicle as the only accessible entrance inside a supermarket was closed.
Simon Sansome said he thought it was “ridiculous” when he returned to an NCP car park after enjoying a show at the Norwich Theatre Royal and could not access his adapted Ford Galaxy.
The car park, located in St Stephens Street, advertises itself as wheelchair friendly but the only entrance and exit is via a lift located in Iceland supermarket.
But when he arrived at the car park at around 9.45pm on Friday, December 17, Iceland was closed.
The film and TV producer, who is currently working on a spin-off show of The Bill called Sun Hill, said: "I came to Norwich to see my friend Graham Cole who is playing a role in Dick Whittington and his cat - he has agreed to come back as PC Tony Stamp as one of the main characters in Sun Hill.
“When I returned to the car park I thought there would be another entrance or exit somewhere but there wasn’t.
“Luckily, we were staying at the Travel Lodge next to the car park but had I needed to get to my car, I would have had to call the police.
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“It’s the most bizarre and inaccessible place I have ever come across. It was ridiculous.”
Mr Sansome, who was forced to cut his night short, was not able to access his car until the following morning.
Responding to his complaints, an NCP spokesman apologised “profusely” and said signage warning customers of the lift’s availability had been taken down.
They added: “Our car park attached to Iceland closes at 9pm and it has two lifts.
"One goes via Iceland, so can only be used during their opening hours, this is disabled friendly.
"Our second lift can be used at all times but does have a step so may not be suitable for all disabilities.
"We will replace the sign back from where it was taken, but it does still mean that in the hours between the store closing and the car park closing that the second lift isn’t fully accessible."
Following this ordeal, Mr Sansome said the car park should not be advertised as accessible.
“From my point of view, they should not have a disabled car park at that venue because it’s only part-time,” he added.