Converting a scooter storage to help our vulnerable residents

Resident Jean Broadrick

Staff at a sheltered housing block in Pimlico have come up with an innovative approach to ensuring corridors are not a fire hazard.

Dozens of residents get around on mobility scooters and previously parked them outside their front doors in the 22-storey tower Glastonbury House.

They have converted offices on the ground floor to a garage for up to 20 scooters complete with allocated parking bays and charging points. The garage is only a short walk from the nearby lift. Jean Broadrick, a resident of Glastonbury House for over five years, uses the store. She said:

“I think the storage is a fantastic idea. It’s a really nice and clean space and the bays all have their own charging sockets. It’s also handy because I can’t carry anything heavy; so I can go up to drop off my shopping in my flat, then store my scooter in here. It also makes me feel safe and secure because I can understand the fire safety reasons for not keeping scooters upstairs, and the store is fob access only. I’m really pleased with the safety and security here.”

After the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower two years ago, laws to ensure communal landings in blocks of flats are not obstructed were reinforced so that if residents had to evacuate in a hurry in the dark nothing would obstruct them. Cllr Andrew Smith, Westminster City Council cabinet member for housing services, said:

“The safety of our residents is always our top priority. Following the tragic lessons learnt from Grenfell, we want to ensure that every property meets the highest standards, which is why projects like these are so valuable. We are proud of our team for identifying such a fantastic use for an unused area and that it now provides a safe and useful function for our residents.”

Photo caption: Resident Jean Broadrick.