'My elderly mother cannot shop in Stevenage Tesco Extra due to no wheelchair trolleys'
PUBLISHED: 08:30 18 April 2019
The daughter of an 89-year-old woman with dementia who is confined to a wheelchair says her mother can no longer shop in a town centre superstore because all the trolleys for use with a wheelchair have either been stolen or vandalised.
Linda Auburn takes her elderly mother, Lilian Marhold, to Tesco Extra in Stevenage's The Forum once a week so she can buy food and household essentials.
But Linda relies on being able to use one of the specially-adapted trolleys which attaches to her mother's wheelchair.
Last Thursday, Linda says she discovered the superstore no longer has any of these essential trolleys due to them having been stolen or vandalised.
She said: “I can no longer take my wheelchair-bound mum shopping in Tesco in the town as the last of the disabled trolleys that clip onto a wheelchair has been thrown off the bridge!
“What is the matter with people these days? And why hasn't Tesco come up with a solution, as this has happened too many times.”
She added: “Staff can't tell me when they will have any more of these trolleys, as it depends on budget. It's very frustrating.”
Linda says she will now have to take her mother to the Tesco on Stevenage's London Road, but this is far from ideal.
She explained: “This is my mum's only day out a week and she loves to go shopping in the town and the indoor market as part of the trip. She's upset she won't be able to do this now.” Regular trolleys at the store are secured via chains linking them together, with a £1 coin required to release one. But Linda says she has been told the trolleys for wheelchair users can't be secured in this way due to their shape.
She said: “We've had problems before where they have gone, and recently they have been sparse.
“There are not that many, so Tesco could easily put them inside the entrance to the store.”
A Tesco spokesman said: “We're sorry to hear this customer couldn't find a trolley for wheelchair users, but would like to assure her they are available at the store.
“If customers are unable to find a suitable trolley, our colleagues in store will always be happy to help find one.”
But Linda said: “If I can't find one I always ask at Customer Services. This time I was told they had none and didn't know when they could get any more because of budget cuts.”