Disabled man’s fury over Chesterfield bank’s broken lift

Ben Thomas, of Midland Terrace, Barrowhill,  who is protesting about the Nat West in Chesterfield.
Ben Thomas, of Midland Terrace, Barrowhill, who is protesting about the Nat West in Chesterfield.

A furious disabled bank customer has been horrified to learn a lift at Chesterfield town centre’s Nat West branch has been broken for over two months.

Ben Thomas, of Barrow Hill, Staveley, has repeatedly been left in the foyer area of the bank, on Market Place, unable to access the bank’s services on the first floor.

He said: “On August 13, I thought I’d just see whether the lift had been repaired.

“I found no sign or information as barriers were still placed around the broken lift. The last time I was there in July I had found the lift out of action.

“I found no staff on the floor near the customers waiting to be served. I had to ask a member of the public if they could tell staff. It was a long wait until I was attended to, with no means of communicating with staff. I couldn’t believe a month later things were the same.”

Mr Thomas made a poster and held a protest in the bank foyer to highlight the difficulties for those with disabilities and with prams.

He claimed a staff member told him the lift had not been working since June and there had been difficulties getting parts because the lift was an obsolete model.

Mr Thomas added: “He said he would give it his immediate attention. He apologised.”

The branch has a courtesy telephone in the foyer with a sign stating if access from the foyer escalator, or a stairway from Glumangate is difficult customers can call for help. A further sign states a lift is available at the branch’s Glumangate entrance. A note has been placed with contact numbers.

A Nat West spokesman said: “We appreciate it has taken longer than it should for the lift to be fixed and we apologise for the inconvenience this has caused. Whilst the lift is being fixed we will have a member of staff at the lift level entrance who will be happy to help customers who are unable to access the steps to do their banking.”