Man criticizes Norwich car park for accessibility across Iceland

Posted:
8:00 a.m. December 24, 2021



A wheelchair user slammed into a parking lot operator after he could not access his vehicle because the only accessible entrance inside a supermarket was closed.

Simon Sansome said he thought it was “ridiculous” when he returned to an NCP parking lot after attending a show at the Norwich Theater Royal and was unable to access his adapted Ford Galaxy.


NCP car park on St Stephens Street in Norwich.
– Credit: Google Maps

The car park, located on St Stephens Street, advertises itself as suitable for wheelchairs, but the only entry and exit is by an elevator located in the Island supermarket.

But when he got to the parking lot around 9.45pm on Friday December 17th, Iceland was closed.

The film and television producer, who is currently working on a spinoff show of The Bill called Sun Hill, said: “I came to Norwich to see my friend Graham Cole who plays a role in Dick Whittington and his Cat – he has agreed to return as PC Tony Stamp as one of the main characters in Sun Hill.


TV producer Simon Sansome with actor Graham Cole who played PC Tony Stamp in The Bill.

TV producer Simon Sansome with actor Graham Cole who played PC Tony Stamp in The Bill.
– Credit: Simon Sansome

“When I got back to the parking lot, I thought there would be another entrance or exit somewhere, but it wasn’t.

“Luckily we were at the Travel Lodge next to the parking lot but if I had needed to get to my car I should have called the police.

“This is the most bizarre and inaccessible place I have ever come across. It was ridiculous.


Simon Sansome had to wait until night to access his vehicle as the NCP parking lot at St Stephens Street

Simon Sansome had to wait until night to access his vehicle as the NCP car park at St Stephens Street in Norwich was only wheelchair accessible across Iceland.
– Credit: Simon Sansome

Mr. Sansome, forced to cut his night short, was unable to access his car until the next morning.

In response to his complaints, a spokesperson for the NCP apologized “deeply” and said that the signage warning customers of the availability of the elevator had been removed.

They added: “Our parking lot attached to Iceland closes at 9 pm and has two elevators.

“We go through Iceland, so can only be used during their opening hours, it’s suitable for people with disabilities.

“Our second lift can be used at any time, but it has a step and therefore may not be suitable for all disabilities.

“We will be replacing the sign from where it was taken, but that still means that in the hours between the store closing and the parking lot closing, the second elevator is not fully accessible.”


TV producer Simon Sansome (middle) with actor Graham Cole (right), who played PC Tony Stamp in The Bill.

TV producer Simon Sansome (middle) with actor Graham Cole (right), who played PC Tony Stamp in The Bill.
– Credit: Simon Sansome

Following this ordeal, Mr Sansome said the parking lot should not be advertised as accessible.

“From my point of view, they shouldn’t have disabled parking on this site because it’s only part-time,” he added.


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