VIDEO: Disabled pensioner campaigns to get Hitchin town centre toilet doors to be changed

Kenneth Burton, 84, gets about in a scooter but has found that using the public toilets in Hitchin T

Kenneth Burton, 84, gets about in a scooter but has found that using the public toilets in Hitchin Town Centre to be a nightmare - Credit: Archant

A pensioner who suffered a stroke last year is calling for changes to be made to the doors of disabled toilets in a town centre.

Kenneth Burton has said getting in and out of the disabled toilets at The Arcade in Hitchin is a nightmare and that something needs to be done to make them more accessible.

The 84-year-old from Hitchin, who has been left with no feeling in his right leg and arm following his stroke, said: “I can never get into the toilet when I need to go, and can only use it if there is someone near there to help me open the toilet.

“The doors are so stiff and heavy and they shut really quickly so by the time you try drive your scooter into the toilets the door shuts. It is a nightmare.

“I have spoken to councillors, I’ve spoken to the council and even the council leader and no one seems to be prepared to do anything about it. It is discrimination against disabled people in the town and this has been going on for almost a year.”

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Mr Burton, who lives on his own, said that he valued his independence and enjoyed going out on his own but said that accessibility of the facility needs to be improved.

Cllr Peter Burt, portfolio holder for waste, recycling and environment at North Hertfordshire District Council, which manages the public toilets, said: “The council has been contacted by a resident concerning the heaviness of the door of the disabled public toilet in the old arcade in Hitchin. We are investigating other options although these toilets are widely in use all over the country.

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“We will be taking advice from the manufacturers.”

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