Left high and dry by lift breakdown
PENSIONERS were left stranded after lifts in a city centre block of flats broke down.
Elderly residents at Cumberland House, in St Mary’s Court, Peterborough, were left trapped in the high-rise building after two lifts ground to a halt at the weekend.
Many could not manage the stairs in the 12storey block and had to call on help from friends and relatives to get their shopping and run errands.
The first lift went out of action on Thursday, leaving just one remaining in operation.
However, the real problems began when the second lift stopped working at 10am on Saturday - meaning both were out of action until 6pm that day, when one was mended. Both have now been fixed.
Evelyn Cooper (80), who has lived at the block with her husband Robert (85) for 10 years, said she was disappointed with landlords Cross Keys Homes’ response.
She said: “We reported it to Cross Keys on Thursday but nothing happened until Saturday. We were told when we moved in that any lift problems would be sorted in 20 minutes.
“I think they assumed the other lift would just be working, but when that broke as well, people were unable to use the lifts.
“There are a lot of people here who are dependent on the lifts. It is a 12 story building. How are people expected to get up with their shopping?”
Mrs Cooper said residents were not even warned the lifts were out of service. She added: “The worst thing is they didn’t even tell residents – people had to find out by going to the lift.
“That means they could have no food in and then realise they can’t get in or out.
“It seems crazy in this day and age that a place like this could have its lifts broken and there seems no plan to help people.
“We were lucky because our son could go out and shop – but it’s difficult even for him to get up five floors of stairs with shopping.”
Director of operations, Claire Higgins apologised for the trouble. She added: “We are very sorry for the trouble this caused to those affected but we always make sure our residents’ safety is put first.
“Therefore we must ensure following any repair work, the lifts are fully checked and safe to use before making them operational again.”
LEFT HIGH AND DRY: Evelyn Cooper outside the flats