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Plea to repair Colchester town centre lift...again
A DISABLED shopper has hit out after a vital lift providing access to Colchester town centre broke down – a month after it had a £50,000 refurbishment.
Diane Kirman parked in the Vineyard Street car park on her way to the hairdressers on Sunday.
Although she was pleased more disabled bays had been recently added, the Blackheath resident found she would have to climb a flight of stairs as the lift was out of order.
Mrs Kirman is currently on crutches after breaking a foot, and suffers from osteoporosis. She has also had a kidney transplant, a stroke and a heart attack, and is unable to walk to her nearest bus stop, making her reliant on her car.
She said: “I was pleased to see they have made a lot of the car park available for disabled parking.
“I could get up the stairs with help, but other people with wheelchairs and buggies would have just had to go home.
“Traders and the council keep saying they want us to spend our money, and I’m willing to spend it – if I can get there.
“They say they have spent thousands of pounds on this lift but it does not work.”
The notoriously faulty lifts were refurbished between May 28 and July 27, thanks to a £50,000 grant from Essex County Council in a bid to stop further faults developing.
The works were part of a wider scheme to improve access to the town centre, and was intended to help pave the way for a car ban in Colchester High Street.
The lift is also set to be used more, once the new bus station in Osborne Street is completed.
Mrs Kirman added: “It was very difficult. A young family with a pushchair wanted to go in the lift and I had to say, ‘Sorry you can’t’.
“I had to stop as I felt tired. I did have help and people were lovely, absolutely brilliant. I could not have done it without them.
“If Colchester people were not great I would have looked at those stairs and thought, ‘no, I can’t do it’ and I would have had to turn around and go home.
“It’s not just me, it’s all those other people out there. “If it were just me I would not bother making a fuss, but this affects so many people.”
A Colchester Council spokesman said the authority was investigating the problem.