Leisure centre in disabled row

Georg Vollings lost his leg in a motorbike accident four years ago
Georg Vollings lost his leg in a motorbike accident four years ago

A one-legged Leyland man says he can no longer use disabled facilities at Leyland Leisure Centre because they have been left unusable for FIVE months.

Georg Vollings, 52, who lost his left leg in a motorbike accident in 2006, claims the disabled shower at the centre on Lancastergate has been broken since June.

It means he can’t shower after his daily swimming sessions, which he needs to stay active because of his disability.

Georg said: “Since my accident I have put on a lot of weight but since February I have been on a healthy eating regime and I go swimming every day at 6am to stay in shape.

“My problem is because I’ve only got one leg I go there in the morning on crutches.

“I can’t go in the communal changing room because there are wet tiles, there’s loads of people and I’m taking a risk by putting crutches on there. I could slip and fall.

“I have to shower while sitting down because I can’t stand in the shower on one leg. But the shower seat was broken in June and nothing has been done to fix it.”

Georg, of Golden Hill Lane, claims that far from just not being fixed, the disabled shower room is now also being used as a storage area for tables and chairs.

He said: “I have been a patient person. I had an accident and I do my best.

“But once they started putting tables and chairs in there they started taking the mickey.

“By law they have to have disabled facilities for use in public places.

“I still go swimming because if I stop I put weight back on.

“I go there, get undressed, go swimming, dry myself and get dressed. Then I have to go home and have a shower.

“I am allergic to chlorine in the water so I need to wash it off as soon as I can.”

Georg lost his leg when his Yamaha motorbike crashed into a lamppost on the A49 in Charnock Richard in 2006.

He has also emailed Lorraine Fullbrook, MP for South Ribble, with the hope of getting it fixed as soon as possible.

He said: “It should only take no more than a day and a half to get it sorted. It is out of order. It’s discrimination.”

Paul Shannon, community development and partnership manager at South Ribble Community Leisure and West Lancashire Community Leisure, said: “We acknowledge that there was an incident earlier this year in relationship to a customer’s use of the disabled changing facilities at Leyland Leisure Centre. The incident resulted in damage to a seat in the disabled changing facilities at Leyland Leisure Centre which closed this particular area, pending further investigation.

“Further to the investigation, more extensive works were required than initially thought in order to fully repair this facility. There are two other areas within close proximity where which the complainant and other customers with disabilities can change in comfort, including communal changing areas.

“The remedial works to the area in question will be completed by the end of this week.

“In addition we have reviewed the overall accessibility of the site and have utilised this opportunity to invest in the facility in order to improve access with a new bed, chair configuration and two new pool hoists already installed.

“If you would like to view the area in question first hand and to look at the improvements and investments that have been made at Leyland Leisure Centre, please do not hesitate to contact me.”