Wheelchair ban is lifted at Grosvenor
ASHOPPING centre has lifted its ban on people with mobility problems.
Bosses at the Grosvenor Shopping Centre prompted anger on January 28 after stopping disabled people and parents with more than one child from accessing the shops.
It followed a report from the Cheshire Fire Authority, which raised ‘serious’ safety concerns because certain shoppers could not evacuate unaided via the staircases.
An interim solution for the centre to train more fire marshals enabled the centre to reopen fully on February 5.
Now fire engineers have begun working with the shopping centre’s owners Eskmuir, to find a permanent solution to the problem.
This process is expected to use state-of-the-art fire modelling to map potential blazes in different areas of the centre and identify the safety measures that are needed.
This could see the introduction of fireproof glass or new disabled ramps.
It is no know when this work will be completed.
Ed Kennedy, manager of the Grosvenor Shopping Centre, said: “The Grosvenor Centre management can confirm we have agreed measures with Cheshire Fire Authority, which will enable us to open the centre to all customers.
“We would like to thank our customers for their patience during this time.”
This week it has also emerged that the visit by fire inspectors was instigated by a planning application for changes to the centre.
The ban made national headlines and even prompted a letter from Lord Holmes, Disability Commissioner at the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
He said: “Service providers have a responsibility to plan in advance for the needs of disabled people and ensure they can get in and out of their premises safely.
“We have asked Grosvenor to send us written confirmation of what action they are taking to meet their legal obligations and ensure that people with disabilities can use their shopping centre easily and safely.”
Meanwhile, fire officers met with people affected by the ban at The Disability Information Bureau in Macclesfield on Friday where they answered questions over the issue.
‘We have agreed measures.. [to reopen]’