A wheelchair consumer whose car was parked in a Luton Airport automobile park when fireplace devastated it stated the blaze has robbed him of his independence.
Andrew Miller, 56 from Northamptonshireparked his automated Citroen DS 3 on the bottom flooring of Luton Airport’s Terminal Automotive Park 2 within the blue badge parking lot on October 8, earlier than taking a visit to Eire along with his husband, Tim Meacock, additionally 56.
They returned to the airport on Thursday afternoon, and Mr Miller, who has a fancy spinal situation and has all the time been a wheelchair consumer, stated there was nobody from the airport or APCOA, its parking supplier, to provide him data on tips on how to return dwelling.
Mr Miller, a broadcaster, cultural guide and incapacity campaigner, stated the scenario has been a “nightmare” and accused the airport and APCOA of “company cowardice and negligence of the worst variety”.
It comes as Luton Airport stated on Sunday it was “unlikely that any autos will probably be salvageable” following the automobile fireplace which broke out on Tuesday, inflicting the location to break down.
Mr Miller stated he may see his car from the automobile park showing to be “comparatively undamaged”, and he was involved the airport may very well be “dashing to conclusions”.
In response to Mr Miller’s scenario, a spokesperson for London Luton Airport supplied “honest apologies” for any misery or inconvenience prompted.
“This hearth has robbed me of my entry and my independence,” Mr Miller advised the PA information company.
“As a wheelchair consumer, I’ve acquired complicated entry wants and I’ve spent years on the lookout for a automobile that I can simply get out and in of.”
Mr Miller stated he purchased his automated Citroen DS 3 outright two weeks in the past after leasing the car for 5 years from Motability, an organisation which helps disabled drivers.
The car mannequin is now not in manufacturing, going off-sale in 2019, with Mr Miller saying: “It’s fairly bespoke and valuable to me and it truly is my independence.”
He stated the car, a three-door automobile and not using a central console, is “a lot simpler” for a wheelchair consumer to get out and in of independently, including: “It’s going to be very troublesome for me to search out one other one, not not possible, however very troublesome.”
He has additionally fitted hand controls to the car, explaining they’re related to the brake and accelerator to permit somebody with out the usage of their legs to function the automobile, including they might price about £500 to interchange.
Mr Miller stated he wrote to APCOA twice, in addition to posting on X, previously Twitterto ask Luton Airport for data on how he may return dwelling on his arrival on the airport, however had no response.
Mr Miller stated when he landed on the airport he was assisted by the chaplain, who’s a part of the assist service and accessible to help these in issue and was “exceptionally variety and affected person” and helped prepare a taxi for the couple to return dwelling.
“For my part, it was company cowardice and negligence of the worst variety,” he stated.
“The entire thing has been a nightmare and proves to me that in a significant incident scenario like this, the pursuits of disabled individuals who want fastidiously thought-about bespoke options get tossed apart and ignored.”
Of Luton Airport’s assertion on Sunday, Mr Miller stated he was “involved they (the airport) may be dashing to conclusions if vehicles like mine are probably salvageable”.
“Who is aware of what injury it may need sustained, I’ve acquired no concept what the car appears like up shut, however from a distance, it inspired me that it wasn’t within the collapsed a part of the automobile park,” he stated.
Mr Miller hopes he’ll be capable of get a alternative car from his insurer from Tuesday.
A London Luton Airport spokesperson stated: “We want to provide our honest apologies to Mr Miller for any misery or inconvenience prompted.
“We perceive how upsetting this example is and have been working tirelessly to offer extra data to our clients as shortly as potential.
“Since Tuesday night, along with APCOA parking, we now have responded to nearly 16,500 buyer queries.
“Coping with such a big quantity of inquiries, whereas an investigation is ongoing, has naturally prolonged our response instances.
“The airport chaplaincy staff are a part of the airport response to main incidents and are outfitted to offer assist and help.
“We’re delighted they had been capable of prepare different transport for Mr Miller on this event.”
They continued: “We recognise this has been an especially distressing time for all involved and we want to thank our clients for his or her ongoing persistence and understanding whereas we work by the numerous complexities following this incident.
“Our staff have been tirelessly working across the clock to maintain clients knowledgeable of developments.
“Given the size of the injury, it’s unlikely that any autos within the automobile park will probably be salvageable.
“Nevertheless, that is nonetheless within the technique of being assessed.
“We’re additionally working with the Affiliation of British Insurers on behalf of the numerous insurance coverage corporations to determine whether or not it is going to be potential to securely retrieve any private possessions and, in that case, how this course of may go.”