Queensgate declines to comment on disabled toilet concerns

Queensgate has refused to comment on concerns raised by a disability group over the accessibility of its toilets.

Monday, 31st May 2021, 12:26 pm

One prominent charity chief executive was among those to say they prefer travelling longer distances to do their shopping as other cities make it more welcoming for them.

Michelle King, CEO at Little Miracles, a parent led support group for families with children that have additional needs, disabilities and life-limiting conditions, said: “I take my little boy to Milton Keynes and we go shopping.

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Queensgate Shopping Centre
Queensgate Shopping Centre

“It’s a couple of hours out the way but there’s a place where he can get changed. That’s our sole reason.”

Others have since echoed her views, while there is frustration at the fact there is only changing place toilet - which meets the needs of people with a wide range of disabilities - in the city.

This is available at Car Haven Car Park at the back of the Town Hall.

People commenting on the original article have also identified Queensgate’s toilet facilities as a problem, including for parents using pushchairs.

Asked to respond to the comments, a spokesperson for Queensgate said: “It’s not something they can comment on.”

In 2017, Queensgate’s centre director Mark Broadhead, and the city council, promised quick progress on improving access into the shopping centre from the station.

The pledge came after Mr Broadhead and senior figures from the local authority tried the different routes from the station to the shopping centre in a wheelchair to better understand how difficult the journey is for people who are disabled.

The difficulties identified during the activity prompted council cabinet member Cllr Peter Hiller to remark: “People are coming into the city and can’t access the main shopping centre.

“I will certainly be lobbying for changes. Having had it demonstrated to me I had not realised the impediment for disabled, blind and partially sighted people.”

Mr Broadhead added at the time: “There’s a great dialogue between the owners and the council and it’s something that will come on the agenda shortly.”

However, since then people with disabilities have lamented a lack of progress, with Queensgate refusing to comment when asked if any action had been taken.