No lift to the top of six-storey car park

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DISABLED users of the new multi-storey car park in Bletchley has been left isolated by the lack of lift access.

The six-floor car park, which opened in August last year, has been built without a lift shaft, leaving many people to climb many levels of stairs when returning to their cars with shopping or pushchairs.

The multi-storey car park, to the rear of Bletchley Leisure Centre, was designed to relieve some Bletchley’s parking problems, but has provoked a storm of complaints from residents who have found themselves stranded on the upper floors unable to tackle the six flights of stairs to ground level.

Councillor Angela Kennedy, who represents Bletchley, raised the issue at a council meeting where she asked Councillor Chris Williams, portfolio holder for Leisure, Learning and Culture, why it was not taken into account earlier.

Councillor Williams said he would meet with Bletchley councillors to look into the situation, but admitted is was a great concern that the lack of a liftshaft had not been flagged up when in the planning and consultation stage.

However, Councillor Liz Campbell, representing Denbigh, has asked the council to investigate the legality of the car park under the Disability Discrimination Act.

Councillor Campbell said: “This isn’t just about disabled people. Most of us would struggle to tackle six flights of stairs while carrying the weekly shopping.

“Parents with buggies also find themselves unable to use the car park.

“This is something really basic that MK Council should have spotted at the planning stage.

“There are just eight disabled bays, which is totally inadequate when you consider that the leisure centre runs classes specifically for disabled people.

“It also runs parent and baby sessions, and there is no designated parent and baby parking.”

The Citizen asked Milton Keynes Council for a comment but had not received a reply at the time of going to press.