Apology over disabled access to St Albans bank

PUBLISHED: 13:36 30 November 2012

Ian outside Lloyds TSB bank at The Quadrant

Ian outside Lloyds TSB bank at The Quadrant


A BANK has apologised to a disabled customer who struggles to enter his local branch.

Ian Bangs, of Marshalswick, suffers from the neurological condition Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and uses a three-wheel triangle-framed walker or mobility scooter.

But he is getting frustrated at the problems he faces accessing Lloyds Bank on The Ridgeway at The Quadrant, Marshalswick, where staff have to bring out a ramp once alerted to his wish to enter the building.

He explained that there was a type of button behind a window pane which he assumed he could activate by pressing against the glass.

Ian said: “The call button doesn’t work, so I have to bash on the window to get someone to come out. The button hasn’t been fixed. The main door at the bank has a big step, which is OK for everyone else, but it’s unfriendly for me.

“It’s ridiculous. They seem to be more bothered about the able-bodied people and disabled people are shoved out of the way.”

He said that after bashing on the window, a staff member would normally come out and say, “it’s the ramp again.”

Ian went on: “They treat it as a joke, and I’m getting fed up with it.”

But a spokesman for the branch said it was not a traditional call button and was thus not activated by pushing or waving a hand in front of the glass. It was a service call receiver, which responded only to a special transmitter which was purchased by customers.

The service is for people to use to call for assistance at places where access is difficult.

The Lloyds branch in Marshalswick uses ServiceCall, and according to the facility’s website the transmitter costs £14.95.

The spokesman said: “We take the needs of our disabled customers very seriously and the staff at our branch in The Quadrant will gladly help anyone who has difficulty accessing the building.

“We are investigating whether there are any problems with the ServiceCall receiver at the branch to ensure customers who have a transmitter can continue to use this facility as usual.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

Ian said he had been using the branch for 30 years and had not been made aware of the need for a transmitter.

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Recently we, as a family (minus two of the kids), visited The Lodge RSPB reserve in Sandy, Bedfordshire. I had never been before, which is perhaps amiss of me as a birdwatcher as it is the headquarters of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds or RSPB and only 45 minutes drive from home.

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