Wheelchair-bound Alex says he feels like a prisoner in his own home after the council have refused to build him a ramp (Picture: Media Scotland)
A dad from Edinburgh says he feels like a prisoner in his own home after the council refused to build a ramp from his tenement stair door to the pavement.
Alexander French, 54, started using an electric wheelchair after being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and losing the ability to walk- but because of the steep step to his tenement flat door, he is unable to leave his home independently.
Alex says he doesn’t like relying on his family to get in and out of the house, which leaves him stuck inside through the week and unable to socialise, which has taken its toll on his mental health.
‘I am a wheelchair user and I live in a ground-floor flat in north Edinburgh,’ he said.
Alex lost the ability to walk after being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia (Picture: Getty)
‘I recently contacted the city council to request a wheelchair ramp and I was told I needed to have a wheelchair issued by the NHS, but I use an electric wheelchair as I do not have the strength to push a manual chair.
‘I received an NHS chair a few weeks ago and I contacted the city council again, but was told I had been given the wrong information and I’m not entitled to a ramp as I own my house.
‘I’m not in a position to pay for a ramp and as a result, I can’t leave the house unless my son or wife is home.
‘However, they both work during the day and can’t help.’
He continued: ‘We have owned our house for 20 years but all the rest of the flats are owned by the council and it’s a main stair door.
‘’I have been using the wheelchair for years, my son used to be here all the time and built me a ramp so I could get out of the house on my own but it’s not there anymore.
‘My son is 29 years old now and he is out all the time. He needs his own life and it’s not fair for me to rely on him to get out of the house.
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‘I used to go to different groups throughout the week to meet up with people and socialise but I can’t now. The lack of dropped kerbs in the area means often I have to use the road and my wheelchair is not roadworthy.
‘I have fallen out of my wheelchair twice- once trying to get up onto a kerb and another time because wheelie bins were in the way and I had to try and go around them.
‘I am stuck in my house from Monday …read more