Concerns have been raised after a lift broke down in a high-rise block of flats, leaving the elderly and disabled struggling to get up and down the stairs.

Wandsworth Times:

Residents of Chesterton House, in Ingrave Street, Battersea, said they reported a lift, alighting on the even floors, being out of action from Saturday evening, January 3, to 4pm on the Monday. But the council said it was only notified on Sunday morning.

Although a second lift, going to odd floors, was working it left those living on even floors, who are less able, to struggle up and down the stairs.

Residents told us many of these people are old, some are terminally ill and others are in wheelchairs. There were also occasions during that time when residents said the odd lift was jammed so no lifts were working.

Concerns have been raised by Richard Gibbs whose mother, Christine, 91, has lived on the eighth floor of the block for 47 years.

He said people living there were not communicated with during the lift closure and he requested that if the same thing happens again, lift engineers notify adult social services.

Richard Gibbs said: "My mum has multiple cancers and there are a huge number of residents there in their 70s, 80s and 90s.

"It is very dangerous we had to walk her very slowly up the stairs. There are some people there is no way we could get them out, we would have to carry them out.

"They were given no word and no help. I went shopping for people. One time the other lift jammed on the thirteenth floor and I had to walk up flights of stairs.

"If your lift is out you have to walk up one flight of stairs before you can catch the other one. But there are seriously ill people who can’t use the stairs.

"All they need to do when the lift is out of order is tell social services. They know all these people are in the block."

Former RAF man and postman George Cresswell, 79, lives on the tenth floor and needs a stick to walk. He said: "I need help up and down the stairs. Imagine if I have to walk down. What happens in an emergency?"

A spokesman for the council said: "Unfortunately one of the two lifts servicing this block was out of action for around 29 hours from Sunday morning onwards, possibly as a result of vandalism or misuse.

"An engineer was on site within two hours of it being reported to us but because it needed a non-standard replacement part, he was not able to complete the repair until Monday. We would like to apologise to residents for this inconvenience.

"In the following days, the son of one resident asked how we notify residents when these kinds of problems occur and as a result we have agreed to make some changes to help improve our communications with residents in the future."