September 23 2014 Latest news:
by Harry Kemble, Reporter
Thursday, August 21, 2014
A disabled couple in their seventies say they find it “virtually impossible” to reach the counter of their newly refurbished local post office.
Rod Driscoll, 70, and his wife Pauline, 72, say the situation has become so bad, they have been sworn at by customers as they try to drive their mobility scooters in the Collier Row post office.
Mr Driscoll, of Nelson Close, Collier Row, said: “It has got to the stage where my wife does not want to go into the post office any more.
“We have to manoeuvre backwards and forwards to get around the corners. This has led to some people swearing at us.
“When you are disabled, and trying to move around in that Post Office, you get other people nervous. Nine out of 10 times other people are in a rush.”
Mr Driscoll uses a mobility scooters to move about after having both hips replaced. He also suffers from a long-term back problem.
He goes to the branch “once or twice” a month to post or collect packages. His wife is more mobile but, because she is in remission from cancer, she tires quickly and so uses a mobility scooter.
“She can potter about but not for too long,” he said. “She had a fall about 25 years ago and crushed the discs in her back.”
Mr Driscoll has written to Romford MP Andrew Rosindell, calling for “pressure” to be put on Post Office Ltd to rethink the branch’s layout.
Post Office management claims that only small changes were made to the branch in July.
A spokesman said: “The changes to the layout have been minimal and we have slightly increased the size of our financial services room where customers can discuss their needs in private.
“The office is fully accessible and we meet the requirement of the Equality Act 2006, which we are required to comply with.”
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