Vandals are being blamed for the repeated breakdowns of lifts at a Horsham town centre car park.
People have branded the lifts at The Forum in Blackhorse Way a ‘disgrace’ because they are so often out of action.
But Horsham District Council, which is responsible for maintaining the lifts, said today that many of the breakdowns have been caused by vandals.
And, says the council, the problem is costing local taxpayers thousands of pounds in repairs.
Meanwhile, residents are continuing to vent their anger and frustration at the repeated lift failures. They say that mums with prams and disabled people are facing particular problems in accessing the car park.
Some have called for the council to reduce parking charges at the site because the lifts are so often unable to be used.
However, the council says that engineers are currently carrying out repairs and that it is expected that “all town centre car park lifts will be operational soon.”
Meanwhile, the council is calling on the public to report any incidents of vandalism that they witness.
A spokeswomman said: “Over a period of months there have been several instances of car park lift breakdowns in the town centre car park as a result of vandalism.” She said police were aware of the situation.
And Horsham Council cabinet member for the local economy Gordon Lindsay said: “Whilst we appreciate that some of the breakdowns in service have been as a result of reliability issues with equipment, the situation has been compounded by ongoing vandalism.
“It is very disappointing and frustrating that our car park lifts have been repeatedly vandalised, incurring significant inconvenience to users and also major financial costs to repair the often extensive damage caused.
“There is never a valid excuse for wanton vandalism of this nature. Ultimately it is the taxpayer who has to foot the bill for repairs.
“In December 2018 alone, some £8,500 was paid out to carry out repairs relating to our car parks which has taken money from other vital council services.
“Increased security has been introduced at the car parks including more patrols by the council’s neighbourhood wardens and parking services attendants and the council’s overnight security contractors in an attempt to deter further incidents.”
The council is calling on the public to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity directly to Sussex Police by calling 101 or going to https://www.sussex.police.uk/ro/report/ocr/af/how-to-report-a-crime/