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My car was trapped in NCP car park overnight as the ‘disabled access’ was through Iceland and it shut at 8pm

A WHEELCHAIR user’s Ford Galaxy was trapped in an NCP car park overnight as the only disabled access was through a supermarket – and it was closed.

Simon Sansome, 39, was forced to wait almost 12 hours to access his adapted vehicle – despite the 24/7 lot advertising itself as wheelchair friendly.

The film and TV producer, who has used a wheelchair or scooter to get around since 2014, described the ordeal of being stranded outside Iceland as “the most bizarre situation” he’s faced in seven years.

Simon, from Markfield, Leicestershire, said: “It was the most ridiculous thing in the world, I thought it was a joke at first.

“I have never had to organise my diary around when Iceland is open.

“I was completely trapped, couldn’t get my car down.”

Simon had been staying at the Queens Road Travelodge in Norwich when he was recommended to park in St Stephen’s Car Park next door.

He drove up a steep ramp and pulled into one of the disabled bays on the first floor without a problem, but was faced with five huge steps at the exit.

“I thought, ‘how the hell do I get out of here?’,” he said.

“Having disabled bays on the first floor is fine, you would expect that, no trouble at all, but not steps on the way out.”

Simon was then directed to get the lift to a different floor, which brought him face to face with a crate of milk in the Iceland store.

“I couldn’t believe you’ve got to go through Iceland to get out of the car park if you’re disabled,” he said.

After spending the day out with his pal Graham, Simon returned the car park at about 9pm but found no way get could get in, ruining his plans for the evening.

He said: “I presumed there was another entrance or exit, but when I got back to move the car, I couldn’t get to it because the shop was closed.

“I was going to go out to a pub a few miles away with some friends, but was trapped outside as Iceland closes at 8pm most days and 4pm on Sundays.”

Simon complained to NCP, which he said apologised but blamed the building being old.

He was let out free of charge the following day, but Simon, who also works as a writer, was warned he wasn’t the first to be hit with the problem, and he wouldn’t be the last.

“Letting me out without having to pay was the least they could do, but they shouldn’t say they can provide disabled access when they can’t,” he said.


“What happens if they’re doing work or something? What happens if they’re closed due to Covid, or they run out of stock, or whatever?

“You’re trapped, you can’t get your car down.

“Luckily, I was staying there overnight. If I wasn’t, I would have had great difficulty.

“I would have had to call the police. That’s what it would have come down to.”

Simon said some people needing disabled access might have been able to make it up the car ramp at the front, but his scooter “wouldn’t have been powerful enough as it was pretty steep”.

He added: “They need to advertise that they can’t take disabled bays because you can’t access it 24 hours.

“They need to put up a big sign saying ‘not disabled friendly’. 

“This NCP car park is not suitable for any disabled customer if they want to go out and have a life.”

“I have never had to organise my diary around when Iceland is open.

Simon Sansome

An NCP spokesperson said: “Our car park attached to Iceland closes at 9pm and it has two lifts.

“One goes via Iceland, so can only be used during their opening hours, this is disabled friendly. 

“Our second lift can be used at all times but does have a step so may not be suitable for all disabilities, we have signage warning customers of this but we can see that this has been removed and so we understand and fully sympathise with the customer and apologise profusely for this.

“We will replace the sign back from where it was taken, but it does still mean that in the hours between the store closing and the car park closing that the second lift isn’t fully accessible for all disabilities because of this step, as has always been the case.”

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