Northampton wheelchair user left stuck in bus station toilets due to faulty emergency cord

Jackie Goodfellow was left stranded in the North Gate Bus Station toilets for half-an-hour on Saturday. The borough council has apologised.
Jackie Goodfellow was left stranded in the North Gate Bus Station toilets for half-an-hour on Saturday. The borough council has apologised.
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The borough council has apologised to a wheelchair bound Northampton woman after a faulty emergency cord left her stranded in the bus station toilets.

Jackie Goodfellow nipped into the facilities at the North Gate station on Saturday morning after shopping around town on her own.

North Gate Bus Station.

North Gate Bus Station.

The 69-year-old Obelisk Club volunteer from Greenview, Kingsley, suffers with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and uses a mobility scooter to get around.

But as she went to move herself onto the toilet the scooter accelerated off in front of her, leaving her stranded on the ground.

She said: “It was completely my fault and I came down with such a bump.

“But because I can’t walk if I go down I can’t get back up.

“I managed to pull the red emergency cord but no one came for at least 25 minutes.

Thankfully Miss Goodfellow had her mobile phone on her and managed to call ShopMobility, based in the nearby Mayorhold car park.

She had borrowed the scooter off Shopmobillity earlier that day and asked staff whether they would come over the road to rescue her.

The staff managed to raise the alarm with bus station security guards, employed by Northampton Borough Council who eventually came to her rescue.

“As far as I’m concerned the red cord is for emergencies they should have come right away.

“I was feeling really claustrophobic and I had started to panic.

“I thought no one was coming at all.

“If I hadn’t have called ShopMobility I could have been there all day.”

A Northampton Borough Council spokesman said measures are being put in place to ensure this does not happen again.

“We apologise very sincerely to Ms Goodfellow for the delay in responding when she pulled the disabled toilet alarm cord.

“Due to a technical issue, the alarm did not sound outside the toilet and our guard was not in the area of the toilet at that time, so did not see the alarm light had come on.

“We did check that Ms Goodfellow was well and apologise to her at the time, and we would like to reassure her that we are working on changes to ensure this does not happen again.”