‘We’ve been left out in the cold’, says frustrated mum

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A mother-of-two says she struggles to use Linlithgow Post Office because there is no external ramp for her mobility scooter.

Kate Mowat was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis eight years ago and needs the aid to go about her daily routine.

She said West Lothian Council’s refusal of planning permission for a ramp was making life difficult for her.

Currently people who cannot manage to access the entrance have to ring a bell and wait on staff putting out a portable ramp.

Kate said: “I can’t bear the whole experience. Last time it took 20 minutes to get in and I was left out on the pavement in the cold.

“Another time they could not see me and thought I had gone away or it was children pushing the buzzer and running away. To not have a permanent ramp in place is just awful.

“I do not blame the post office, I like the staff. I’m angry with the council department as they should have a moral responsibility to look after its residents.”

She is not the only one to have endured the experience.

Emma Hunter (40) has cerebral palsy and has an electric wheelchair.

She said: “It can take ages to be let in depending on how busy it is but this wouldn’t be an issue if there was a permanent ramp in place.”

A planning application was lodged to put an external ramp in place but the council refused the proposal as it would set a precedent on the High Street and would obstruct footpaths.

A spokesman for the council said it was the “leaseholder’s responsibility” to resolve the access issue.

A Post Office spokesperson said: “We are sorry to hear of the issues faced by our customers accessing our Linlithgow branch. We will look into the difficulties raised as a matter of urgency. Access for all our customers, including disabled people, is very important to us.”