Residents of Chamberlaine Court are breathing a sigh of relief this week as an important life line into the town has finally been restored.
After months of laying inoperative, the single person lift, situated by Tooleys Boatyard, has been repaired allowing elderly and partially mobile people, or those who use a wheelchair, access to Castle Quay without having to navigate their way around to one of the other access points on the opposite side of the shopping centre.
Campaigning for the repair has been Banbury Town Councillor Surinder Dhesi who has been trying to get a response from Castle Quay owners, Cherwell District Council regarding the lift’s repair for some time to no avail.
“I contacted CDC and they said they would get back to me, but nobody got back to me,” said the councillor.
Access has further been compromised by the closure of the pedestrian bridge on the north side of General Foods Social Club and, for some, the extra walking distance to the Debenhams entrance is physically too demanding.
The problem seemed to be obtaining the specific spare part for the lift’s repair which had to be ordered from Germany. Three months after the lift ceased operating the part arrived and has now been fitted.
It has come as a relief to the older residents of Chamberlaine Court who live directly opposite the lift entrance.
Valerie Adams said: “My husband uses the lift and it makes life so much easier for him when that lift is working.”
Molly Gibbs said: “It was very difficult. I went along one day and they had fenced off the bridge, so I had to walk back and because the lift wasn’t working either I had to walk all the way around, which is a long way when your a bit creaky.”
It’s not just the ability to shop that residents missed as access to Castle Quay also provides a social outlet for some of the residents.
Mrs Patricia Hall said: “It’s fixed? Thank God, we did miss it. We were desperate for it.
“I haven’t been out much. When I do I have to use a walker. As soon as I get over there, to the shopping centre and get on that lift I am home, I can get in. I am just so pleased I really am.
She added: “That is my local, that is as far as I can go and a lot of us go in there.”