wheelchair consumer whose car was parked in a Luton Airport automotive park when hearth devastated it mentioned the blaze has robbed him of his independence.
Andrew Miller, 56 from Northamptonshire, parked his automated Citroen DS 3 on the bottom ground of Luton Airport’s Terminal Automotive Park 2 within the blue badge parking lot on October 8, earlier than taking a visit to Ireland together 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, mentioned there was nobody from the airport or APCOA, its parking supplier, to provide him data on find out how to return residence.
Mr Miller, a broadcaster, cultural marketing consultant and incapacity campaigner, mentioned the state of affairs has been a “nightmare” and accused the airport and APCOA of “company cowardice and negligence of the worst sort”.
It comes as Luton Airport mentioned on Sunday it was “unlikely that any automobiles shall be salvageable” following the automotive hearth which broke out on Tuesday, inflicting the positioning to break down.
Mr Miller mentioned he may see his car from the automotive park showing to be “comparatively undamaged”, and he was involved the airport might be “dashing to conclusions”.
In response to Mr Miller’s state of affairs, a spokesperson for London Luton Airport provided “honest apologies” for any misery or inconvenience induced.
“This hearth has robbed me of my entry and my independence,” Mr Miller advised the PA information company.
“As a wheelchair consumer, I’ve received advanced entry wants and I’ve spent years in search of a automotive that I can simply get out and in of.”
Mr Miller mentioned 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 mentioned the car, a three-door automotive with no 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 unattainable, however very troublesome.”
This hearth has robbed me of my entry and my independence
He has additionally fitted hand controls to the car, explaining they’re linked to the brake and accelerator to permit somebody with out the usage of their legs to function the automotive, including they’d price about £500 to exchange.
Mr Miller mentioned he wrote to APCOA twice, in addition to posting on X, previously Twitter, to ask Luton Airport for data on how he may return residence on his arrival on the airport, however had no response.
Mr Miller mentioned when he landed on the airport he was assisted by the chaplain, who’s a part of the help service and obtainable to help these in problem and was “exceptionally sort and affected person” and helped prepare a taxi for the couple to return residence.
“For my part, it was company cowardice and negligence of the worst sort,” he mentioned.
“The entire thing has been a nightmare and proves to me that in a significant incident state of affairs 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 mentioned he was “involved they (the airport) could be dashing to conclusions if vehicles like mine are probably salvageable”.
“Who is aware of what injury it might need sustained, I’ve received no thought what the car appears to be like like up shut, however from a distance, it inspired me that it wasn’t within the collapsed a part of the automotive park,” he mentioned.
Mr Miller hopes he’ll be capable of get a alternative car from his insurer from Tuesday.
A London Luton Airport spokesperson mentioned: “We want to provide our honest apologies to Mr Miller for any misery or inconvenience induced.
“We perceive how upsetting this example is and have been working tirelessly to supply extra data to our prospects as shortly as doable.
“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 supply help and help.
“We’re delighted they have been in a position to prepare different transport for Mr Miller on this event.”
They continued: “We recognise this has been a particularly distressing time for all involved and we want to thank our prospects 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 prospects knowledgeable of developments.
“Given the size of the injury, it’s unlikely that any automobiles within the automotive park shall be salvageable.
“Nonetheless, that is nonetheless within the strategy of being assessed.
“We’re additionally working with the Association of British Insurers on behalf of the numerous insurance coverage corporations to determine whether or not it is going to be doable to securely retrieve any private possessions and, in that case, how this course of may go.”