Ray Ahearn, of Warrnambool, is unhappy that he is not allowed to make use of the travelator at the Target complex.WHEELCHAIR users are being advised to stay off the travelator at Warrnambool’s Target shopping complex because of safety concerns.
Nanjing Night Net

Caution signs have been enlarged by the property owners following a long campaign by a community group advocating for people using wheelchairs and electric mobility vehicles and walking sticks.

According to Community Support Advisory Committee members Ray Ahearn and Cr Michael Neoh, the machine has been an issue since being installed two years ago as part of a major redevelopment.

“We were surprised when it was put in without consulting wheelchair users,” Mr Ahearn said.

“The previous ramp was better.

“It can tend to be rather frightening for some elderly people.”

Mr Ahearn explained that wheelchair or scooter users on the machine applied their brakes for the steep travelator journey and then came to an abrupt halt at the end unless they started moving their wheels beforehand.

“Potentially you could be tipped out of your chair if you were not concentrating,” he said.

“It’s not a major drama, but rather an inconvenience of having to enter the top level off Koroit Street or drive down to the Coles car park to enter the lower level.”

Target complex is operated by Lascorp and company spokesman Matthew Lasky told The Standard the advisory sign was installed in conjunction with the community committee following feedback from customers in wheelchairs.

“The landlord understands that although the travelator meets all Australian standards a moving travelator is not considered an official means of transitioning levels within DDA regulations,” he said.

Cr Neoh said modern redevelopments like the Warrnambool Lighthouse Theatre were required to be fitted with lifts to comply with accessibility legislation.

The committee is also lobbying for continued 24-hour public toilet access at the southern end of the CBD after the theatre opens next month.

It has called for leased temporary toilets installed on Gilles Street during the project construction to be retained until a permanent all-hours facility can be opened elsewhere.

“Hopefully the council engages in community consultation on the issue,” Mr Ahearn said.

City infrastructure director Peter Robertson told The Standard the Gilles Street toilets would remain until the council finalised its CBD public facilities strategy.

A nearby resident has described the temporary toilets as an eyesore.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.