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SALFORD WHEELCHAIR USER TRAPPED IN MARKS AND SPENCER REVOLVING DOOR
 

Star date: 11th May 2018

BOTCHED DISABLED ENTRANCE LEFT WHEELCHAIR USER STUCK IN REVOLVING DOOR

This week, disabled Salford wheelchair user, Sharon Hooley, was left trapped in a revolving door at the new Marks and Spencer store in Spinningfields, Manchester, after being urged to use it by management.

Sharon is now using the incident to highlight the plight of disabled people trying to get around Salford and Manchester... "I've had to put myself in danger more or less every week" she says "It's horrendous trying to get around. I feel like I don't exist as a member of the public anymore..."

Full details here...


Salford wheelchair user stuck in revolving M&S door
click image to enlarge

"It's horrendous trying to get around. I feel like I don't exist as a member of the public anymore..."


Getting trapped in a Marks and Sparks revolving door didn't phase disabled wheelchair user and campaigner Sharon Hooley, who encounters such problems every time she ventures out into Salford or Manchester.

On Tuesday evening, Sharon and fellow wheelchair user, TJ, decided to go shopping in the new Marks and Spencer store in No 1 Spinningfields but they found that the disabled entrance was not accessible, and a poster telling them to use the revolving door by pushing a blue button.

"I pushed the blue button, it slowed down and I then gently manoeuvred my electric wheelchair in" Sharon recalls "But as the doors took away the spaces between the back of the chair and front of the chair, before opening up any gap on the other side of this door, it jammed. No one could get in or out.

"As people started to pile up at the back of me they realised I was stuck and wondered why no one had come out to help" she adds "It was another few minutes when I was approached by a M&S guy, and I asked him why they deemed this door accessible when it definitely wasn't.

"I was then told that I should have used the other manual doors....I said 'Where?'; there was no notice up to say where the nearest alternative doors were, just that this was the only accessible entrance" she explains "The design is completely stupid. Then, as we were on our way out, a guy tried to say that it wasn't M&S's fault but totally down to those that repair and maintain the building.

"I was able to laugh my ordeal off but anyone with a standard size electric/power chair would get completely stuck and could cause a lot more serious problems" she insists.

A Marks and Spencer spokesperson apologised for the mishap and will be contacting Sharon: "Ensuring our stores are accessible for everyone is really important to us and we're sorry that on this occasion we let our customer down" they told the Salford Star "The main door to our store has been fixed and we'll be speaking to No.1 Spinningfields about alternative access should this happen again."

However, the experience was nothing particularly novel for Sharon, who wants to use the episode to highlight the plight of disabled people getting around Salford and Manchester...

"This is just one incident in many that I have to endure" she says "In my opinion, and I'm sure a lot of other disabled people will agree too, that Manchester and Salford care very little when roads are being dug up and buildings being cornered off while they are being built.

"I've had to put myself in danger more or less every week because ramps have not been put down, or not enough space has been left on the path to get the wheelchair past safely. It's horrendous trying to get around. I feel like I don't exist as a member of the public anymore."

Meanwhile, Sharon's friend, TJ, who was with her throughout the ordeal, underlines the point...

"This is not an isolated case" he explains "Most of the footpaths to the Manchester City Centre have been closed due to development of the surrounding area but the law states that there has to be temporary access of 1.4m wide and ramps put down for wheelchair users.

"However, many, many pavements within Manchester and Salford have been blocked off, forcing wheelchair users to drive on the road" he adds "There now seems to be a lack of disability awareness of those who work in supermarkets and the development industry within Manchester and Salford. This, in my opinion, is a huge equality breach and must stop before a disabled person gets injured or even killed..."



wrote
at 07:34:23 on 13 May 2018
@Crip In The Corner: I know, it's just sad. During the recent works on Cross Lane I stepped on one of the yellow boards they place over holes or trenches. I actually lost my balance on it as it bowed in the middle, they're supposed to be solid. I've never seen one do that before, I almost went in the trench (At least 3 feet deep) but recovered my balance. If that had been someone infirm or in a wheelchair or on a scooter they'd have been right in there. I'd bet the Council would get their shit together if that happened, though someone shouldn't have to get hurt for them to do something. I mean, I know they try when they build new developments or modernise, but disabled access is not very high on their list of things to do.

Crip In The Corner wrote
at 15:30:11 on 12 May 2018
@Wrote, you are spot on! Disabled access seemed to be the last thing councils think of when any planning is presented. It's not that we need huge space but an average space of 1.4m is safe enough for all types of mobility, including walkers and even prams. But the amount of times that I get told 'Sorry' when approaching work men on the roads or other developments....it really is a last and forgotten thought to give appropriate access to all.

Crip In The Corner wrote
at 15:30:02 on 12 May 2018
@Steven Waldorf.... I'm presuming your comment is a genuine question about electric wheelchairs. They are infact a vehicle to be used for indoor use and for local shops use rather than a mobility scooter which most can be used as a road vehicle. Chairs are literally a replacement for our legs and are not ment for heavy road surfaces...especially if there are potholes. They can be damaged easily if a drop curb is too high when crossing a road so it's vital that it is used as a pedestrian vehicle and not forced into dangerous routes.Depending on the disability these chairs can also have adaption s to ease chronic pain so road use would definitely damage the person. Evan a manual wheelchair is only ment for pedestrian use. Try pushing one on the road, it's virtually impossible. Hope that has answered your question.

Katie wrote
at 09:30:05 on 12 May 2018
Steven, are you suggesting people in wheelchairs shouldnít be allowed to go shopping if they arenít able to get out of their wheelchairs and walk around the building?!

steven waldorf wrote
at 08:15:52 on 12 May 2018
why can't chairs with wheels go in the street like bikes?

wrote
at 20:51:09 on 11 May 2018
I'm able-bodied but when I came out of Victoria train station while they were still doing work on the Metrolink I was wondering how someone wheelchair bound would deal with it. Even though the metro's done now I'm still stepping off curbs and walking on the road to avoid other works taking place taking place in parts of Manchester. It must be a nightmare for people in wheelchairs! Good on Sharon and TJ for bringing it to light, I can see some stores making disabled access easier. Though as for the roads in Manchester and Salford, some of them were planned in the 1800s or earlier, I can't see the Council modernising and widening them for the disabled when it would cause so much disruption.

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