Hundreds trapped as 2,000 Islington lifts break down

PUBLISHED: 07:54 31 December 2011




Hundreds of people were trapped in more than 2,000 lift breakdowns on Islington estates in a year.

Logs kept by Homes for Islington (HfI), which manages most of the borough’s estates, show there were 2,272 lift failures in the year up to November 1.

Residents got stuck on at least 174 occasions, though HfI does not record how many people were trapped each time.

One resident who was caught out, Tom Day, 28, of Hillrise Mansions, off Watersville Road, Crouch Hill, said: “It’s appalling that the lifts break down so often. I’ve only lived here since July and at least two of my neighbours have been trapped as well. The lift people fix it all the time, but it just breaks down again.”

Dr Day, a paediatrician, was trapped for 90 minutes with his mother and a friend – who was rushing to catch a train to Manchester and missed it as a result – while the lift continuously went up and down.

He added: “It was a nightmare and I really don’t want it to happen again. I always think twice before taking it now. If I have to be somewhere I just use the stairs.”

A HfI spokeswoman said it spends £1.3 million each year to renew lifts on estates.

“Vandalism is one of the main reasons for lift breakdowns, as well as misuse and obstructions preventing the doors closing. Our engineers are working to improve reliability and reduce incidents of lift failure.

“We have invested in lift car two- way communications devices so that residents who are stuck in a lift are able to communicate with our call centre, and we have posted notices in lifts with our call centre contact details.”

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