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Adapted Vehicle Hire Updates: Disability assessment centre in Luton ‘not accessible’ for wheelchairs

A government disability assessment centre in Luton has been criticised for lacking access for wheelchairs, reports the BBC.

Wheelchair user Eileen Caroll claimed she was ‘stunned’ after being turned away from the Atos Healthcare fitness-for-work assessment centre and described by staff as a ‘liability’. This was because the lift to the centre on the sixth floor of Cresta House would become out-of-bounds in the event of an emergency and visitors would need to use the stairs.

Mrs Caroll highlighted that she had had to make a number of arrangements to get to the appointment, including organise transportation.

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) said it was now looking for an alternative building. A spokesperson told the BBC: “Where an assessment centre isn’t on the ground floor, as is the case with Luton, we endeavour to make this clear to people before they arrive for their appointment. If people have mobility problems, which may make evacuation in the event of a fire difficult, a home visit or an appointment at an alternative assessment centre is arranged.”

This news comes soon after employment minister Mark Hoban said 31 of the 123 centres utilised by Atos did not have wheelchair access on the ground floor.

In other news, a survey of 20 city centre car parks across the UK has found the majority to be inaccessible to disabled drivers.

Adapted Vehicle Hire provides specialist rental cars for disabled drivers, as well as wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs). Click here to find out more.